Elastic Fluctuations and Structural Heterogeneities in Metallic Glasses

Chaoyang Liu, Robert Maaß

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Suppressing crystallization of a metallic melt results in a disordered solid, also known as a metallic glass. One may conclude that a metallic glass is free of defined structural length scales beyond some atomic-scale value that characterizes short- and medium-range order. While it is well known from atomistic modeling that a metallic glass is structurally heterogeneous, heterogeneities at such a small length scale can hardly be resolved in experiments. This review highlights experimental insights into elastic fluctuations and structural heterogeneities that emerge at scales between a few nanometers and tens to hundreds of micrometers. It distinguishes between structural and property fluctuations in as-cast metallic glasses, and heterogeneities introduced by elastic and inhomogeneous plastic deformation. As-cast glasses reveal elastic fluctuations across 3 orders of magnitude, suggesting a hierarchy of length scales that can be tuned by thermomechanical processing. Similarly, nanoscale strain localization into shear bands drives the formation of structural and elastic heterogeneities at both the nano- and the microscale. It is proposed that both types of fluctuations will allow one to quantitatively define structure–property relationships via measurable length scales—an approach that has largely contributed to the engineering success of crystalline metals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1800388
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 25 2018


  • elastic fluctuations
  • heterogeneities
  • length scales
  • metallic glasses
  • shear bands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Elastic Fluctuations and Structural Heterogeneities in Metallic Glasses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this