Brittle metallic glass deforms plastically at room temperature in glassy multilayers

Parmanand Sharma, Kunio Yubuta, Hisamichi Kimura, Akihisa Inoue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Bulk metallic glasses are emerging as a new class of materials that can have applications ranging from structural materials to materials for future nanotechnology. However, catastrophic mechanical failure is a serious issue hindering the use of these materials in engineering applications. Here we introduce an approach to understanding and solving the problem of brittleness of metallic glasses. We have shown that even a very brittle metallic glass (La based) can be forced to deform plastically at room temperature if it is made in the form of multilayers involving other metallic glasses, i.e., a two-phase glass. The mechanically soft glassy layer (La based) having a lower critical shear stress acts as a nucleation or an initiation site for shear bands and the mechanically hard glassy layer (Zr based) acts as an obstacle to the propagation of shear bands. This process results in the multiplication of shear bands. Since the shear bands are associated with a local rise in temperature, a large number of shear bands can raise the overall temperature of the soft layer and eventually can drive it to the supercooled liquid state, where deformation of metallic glass is very large and homogeneous. The results reported here not only clarify the mechanism of large plastic deformation in two-phase glassy alloys but also suggest the possibility of a different kind of two-phase bulk glassy alloys exhibiting large plastic deformation at room temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number024106
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 6 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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