Thermal-activation model for freezing and the elastic robustness of bulk metallic glasses

P. M. Derlet, R. Maaß

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite significant atomic-scale heterogeneity, bulk metallic glasses well below their glass transition temperature exhibit a surprisingly robust elastic regime and a sharp elastic-to-plastic transition. Here it is shown that, when the number of available structural transformations scales exponentially with system size, a simple thermal-activation model is able to describe these features, where yield corresponds to a change from a barrier energy dominated to a barrier entropy dominated regime of shear transformation activity, allowing the system to macroscopically exit its frozen state. A yield criterion is then developed, which describes well the existing experimental data and motivates future dedicated deformation experiments to validate the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number220201
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number22
StatePublished - Dec 21 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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