SAXS and XAFS Characterization of Precipitates in a High-Performance Cu-Ni-Si Alloy
Analyses of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) were performed for characterizing precipitates formed in a Cu-3.1 at %Ni-1.4 at%Si alloy, the strength and electrical conductivity of which were improved by aging. SAXS profiles and XAFS spectra of samples aged at 720 K for different periods of time after a solution treatment were measured. SAXS profiles of samples, which were aged after the solution treatment and subsequently cold rolled, were also measured to investigate the effect of dislocations on precipitation. The results of SAXS measurements showed that nanometer-size precipitates formed in the alloy samples during isothermal aging at 720 K. The precipitates in the samples without cold rolling were coarsened in a single modal size distribution with increasing aging time. In contrast, the precipitates formed in the cold-rolled samples appeared to be coarsened in a multi-modal size distribution with increasing aging time. This aging characteristic of the cold-rolled samples is presumably attributable to their good electrical conductivity. The results of XAFS measurements at the Ni K-edge showed that nickel was substituted for copper in the face-centered cubic (fcc) copper matrix and that the local structure around nickel was changed by isothermal aging. With increasing aging time, extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) functions at the Ni K-edge of the samples were found to be changed, which implies that nickel atoms were precipitated as nickel-silicon clusters or intermediate compounds in the fcc copper matrix. In addition, X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectra at the Ni K-edge indicated that the electronic structure of nickel in the samples was influenced by silicon during aging.
- Materials transactions
Materials transactions 48(2), 101-104, 2007-02-01