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Title: Correlative Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopic Tomography and Atom Probe Tomography of the Phase Separation in an Alnico 8 Alloy

Alnico alloys have long been used as strong permanent magnets because of their ferromagnetism and high coercivity. Understanding their structural details allows for better prediction of the resulting magnetic properties. However, quantitative three-dimensional characterization of the phase separation in these alloys is still challenged by the spatial quantification of nanoscale phases. Herein, we apply a dual tomography approach, where correlative scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopic (EDS) tomography and atom probe tomography (APT) are used to investigate the initial phase separation process of an alnico 8 alloy upon non-magnetic annealing. STEM-EDS tomography provides information on the morphology and volume fractions of Fe–Co-rich and Νi–Al-rich phases after spinodal decomposition in addition to quantitative information of the composition of a nanoscale volume. Subsequent analysis of a portion of the same specimen by APT offers quantitative chemical information of each phase at the sub-nanometer scale. Furthermore, APT reveals small, 2–4 nm Fe-rich α 1 phases that are nucleated in the Ni-rich α 2 matrix. From this information, we show that phase separation of the alnico 8 alloy consists of both spinodal decomposition and nucleation and growth processes. Lastly, we discuss the complementary benefits and challenges associated with correlative STEM-EDS and APT.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Science (CNMS)
  2. Ames Lab., Ames, IA (United States). Division of Materials Science and Engineering
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Materials Science & Technology Division
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1431-9276; PII: S1431927616012496
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11358; AC05-00OR22725
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Microscopy and Microanalysis
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 06; Journal ID: ISSN 1431-9276
Microscopy Society of America (MSA)
Research Org:
Ames Laboratory (AMES), Ames, IA (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; phase separation; atom probe tomography (APT); electron tomography; alnico alloy; correlative tomography
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1342944