The origin of plastic flow in glass has been a longstanding issue in materials science, condensed matter physics and solid mechanics. Reported in the recent issue of Nature Communications, Qing Wang et al. reported, for the first time, an unusual fast relaxation process discovered in a La-based metallic glass . Through mechanical spectroscopy and nanoindentation, it is demonstrated that the fast secondary relaxation process is equivalent to the elementary activation process that triggers plasticity in the metallic glass. On the fundamental level, our finding also provides the compelling evidence for the existence of dynamic heterogeneity in metallic glasses, a counterintuitive concept opposing the common notion that glass is a homogeneous and uniform solid at low temperatures.
Q. Wang, S.T. Zhang, Y. Yang, Y.D. Dong, C.T. Liu, J. Lu., Unusual Fast Secondary Relaxation in Metallic Glass, Nature Communications, 6, 7876 (2015).
Last modified on 3 July, 2018