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Quasicrystal approximant nanoprecipitate in an aluminum alloy

A new high-temperature Al alloy is designed at Northwestern University utilizing thermally stable α-Al(Mn,Fe)-Si nanoprecipitates inoculated by Sn microalloying. 3D nanoscale elemental imaging and quantitative analyses provided by Atom Probe Tomography (APT) is employed to understand and control the nanoprecipitate nucleation, growth, transformation and coarsening mechanisms. This image displays the nanostructure of an α-Al(Mn,Fe)-Si precipitate, a quasicrystal approximant phase, with its semi-coherent heterophase interfaces decorated with Sn solute atoms within the Al(f.c.c.) matrix of a peak-aged Al-Mn-Si-Sn alloy.

Recorded on CAMECA LEAP 5000 XS used in laser-pulsing mode along with the Integrated Visualization & Analysis Software (IVAS) at Northwestern University, USA. Image courtesy of Dr. Amir Rezaei Farkoosh, Prof. David Christophe Dunand and Prof. David N. Seidman.