We report on molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and physical vapor deposition experimental results concerning the development of glassy and nanocrystalline Cu-Zr thin films. MD has revealed that when Cu and Zr are deposited sequentially, a thin film overlayer is formed that consists of nanocrystalline a-Zr and t Zr2 Cu, while if Cu and Zr are simultaneously deposited, amorphous CuZr thin film emerges, due to the formation of icosahedral-like clusters that impede nucleation. Thin films grown by pulsed laser deposition and magnetron sputtering techniques were analyzed by x-ray diffraction and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and yielded unequivocal evidence that validates our MD predictions. These findings may indicate an alternative pathway for the growth of metallic nanocomposites or glassy films.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)