Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version



Physical Review B 96, 134109 (2017), pp. 1-21.

doi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.96.134109


Copyright © 2017 American Physical Society. Used by permission.


Bulk Au-Fe alloys separate into Au-based fcc and Fe-based bcc phases, but L10 and L12 orderings were reported in single-phase Au-Fe nanoparticles. Motivated by these observations, we study the structural and ordering energetics in this alloy by combining density functional theory (DFT) calculations with effective Hamiltonian techniques: a cluster expansion with structural filters, and the configuration-dependent lattice deformation model. The phase separation tendency in Au-Fe persists even if the fcc-bcc decomposition is suppressed. The relative stability of disordered bcc and fcc phases observed in nanoparticles is reproduced, but the fully ordered L10 AuFe, L12 Au3Fe, and L12 AuFe3 structures are unstable in DFT. However, a tendency to form concentration waves at the corresponding [001] ordering vector is revealed in nearly random alloys in a certain range of concentrations. This incipient ordering requires enrichment by Fe relative to the equiatomic composition, which may occur in the core of a nanoparticle due to the segregation of Au to the surface. Effects of magnetism on the chemical ordering are also discussed.

Included in

Physics Commons