Stabilizing the body centered cubic crystal in titanium alloys by a nano-scale concentration modulation
It is well-known that the body centered cubic (bcc) crystal in titanium alloys reaches its stability limit as the electron-to-atom (e/a) ratio of the alloy drops down to ~4.24. This critical value, however, is much higher than that of a multifunctional bcc type alloy (e/a = 4.15). Here we demonstrate that a nano-scale concentration modulation created by spinodal decomposition is what stabilizes the bcc crystal of the alloy. Aided by such a nano-scale concentration heterogeneity, unexpected properties from its chemically homogeneous counterpart are obtained. This provides a new strategy to design functional titanium alloys by tuning the spinodal decomposition.