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The Migration Behavior of Atomic Clusters in Early Nanocrystalline Process of Soft Magnetic Finemet Alloy

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The Finemet alloys are commonly used as cores in transformers and generators, stress and field sensors in technological application for their excellent soft magnetic characteristics. To clarify the nanocrystallization mechanism of Finemet especially about the atomic migration in early stage is very essential for developing their distinctive characteristics. In this study, we investigate the migration behavior of atoms in order to clarify the mechanism of the early-stage nanocrystallization in amorphous Finemet alloys. The Fe73.5Si13.5B9Nb3Cu1 amorphous ribbons were prepared by single-roller melt-spinning process in argon atmosphere, and then annealed at 350 °C–400 °C for 10 minutes in vacuum. The atom force microscope (AFM) and the coincidence Doppler broadening spectra (CDB) were used to characterize the migration behavior of different atoms in Fe73.5Si13.5B9Nb3Cu1 amorphous alloy during the early-stage nanocrystallization. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns show that all annealed samples are in the amorphous state. But the AFM observation shows clearly that there are many small atomic clusters (nuclei) which distribute in the amorphous matrix of the annealed samples. With increasing annealing temperature, there is a significant increase in the amount of atomic clusters and a dramatic drop in the average size of clusters with very limited Cu contention in the samples, which reflect the structural evolution into more homogeneity. The CDB spectrum indicates that the peaks of positron annihilation spectrum are gradually reduced, which means the number of grain boundary and the defects in samples are gradually increased. It can be concluded that more defects are introduced by the formation of atomic clusters through atomic migration during the early-stage nanocrystallization in Fe73.5Si13.5B9Nb3Cu1 amorphous alloys.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2010

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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