Deviation from high-entropy configurations in the atomic distributions of a multi-principal-element alloy

Louis J Santodonato, Yang Zhang, Mikhail Feygenson, Chad M Parish, Michael C Gao, Richard J K Weber, Joerg C Neuefeind, Zhi Tang, Peter K Liaw
Nature Communications 2015, 6: 5964
The alloy-design strategy of combining multiple elements in near-equimolar ratios has shown great potential for producing exceptional engineering materials, often known as 'high-entropy alloys'. Understanding the elemental distribution, and, thus, the evolution of the configurational entropy during solidification, is undertaken in the present study using the Al₁.₃CoCrCuFeNi model alloy. Here we show that, even when the material undergoes elemental segregation, precipitation, chemical ordering and spinodal decomposition, a significant amount of disorder remains, due to the distributions of multiple elements in the major phases. The results suggest that the high-entropy alloy-design strategy may be applied to a wide range of complex materials, and should not be limited to the goal of creating single-phase solid solutions.

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