The structure of matter at the nanoscale, in particular that of amorphous metallic alloys, is of vital importance for functionalization. With the availability of synchrotron radiation, it is now possible to visualize the internal features of metallic samples without physically destroying them. Methods based on computed tomography have recently been employed to explore the local features. Tomographic reconstruction, while it is relatively uncomplicated for crystalline materials, may generate undesired artifacts when applied to featureless amorphous or nanostructured metallic alloys. In this study we show that X-ray diffraction computed nanotomography can provide accurate details of the internal structure of a metallic glass. We demonstrate the power of the method by applying it to a hierarchically phase-separated amorphous sample with a small volume fraction of crystalline inclusions, focusing the X-ray beam to 500 nm and ensuring a sub-micrometer 2D resolution via the number of scans.
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We thank S. Scudino, D. Şopu, and A. Firlus for fruitful discussions and technical help with respect to experiment monitoring and data handling. The experimental data were collected during experiments HC 2319 and HC 3830; here we are grateful for the support received from ESRF, France, and from A. Bernasconi, the local contact for HC 2319. M.S. and J.F.L. acknowledge support by the ETH+ initiative within the framework of SynMatLab (Laboratory for Multiscale Materials Synthesis and Hands-On Education). B.S. and J.E. acknowledge the support of the European Research Council through the Advanced Grant “INTELHYB – Next Generation of Complex Metallic Materials in Intelligent Hybrid Structures” (Grant ERC-2013-ADG-340025). P.F.G. acknowledges support by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program through the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement (Grant No. 659226). J.H. acknowledges the support of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), Korean Government (MSIT), through Grant NRF-2020R1F1A1076636.
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