Ultrafast formation of single phase B2 AlCoCrFeNi high entropy alloy films by reactive Ni/Al multilayers as heat source

High entropy alloy films of AlCoCrFeNi B2-ordered structure are formed during an ultrafast heating process by reactive Ni/Al multilayers. The self-propagating high-temperature reaction occurring in reactive Ni/Al multilayers after ignition represents an ultrafast heat source which is used for the transformation of a thin films Al/CoFe/CrNi multilayer structure into a single-phase high entropy alloy film. The materials design of the combined multilayers thus determines the phase formation. Conventional rapid thermal annealing transforms the multilayer into a film with multiple equilibrium phases. Ultrafast combustion synthesis produces films with ultrafine-grained single-phase B2-ordered compound alloy. The heating rates during the combustion synthesis are in the order of one million K/s, much higher than those of the rapid thermal annealing, which is about 7 K/s. The results are compared with differential scanning calorimetry experiments with heating rates ranging from about 100 K/s up to 25000 K/s. It is shown that the heating rate clearly determines the phase formation in the multilayers. The rapid kinetics of the combustion prevents long-range diffusion and promotes the run-away transformation. Thus, multilayer combustion synthesis using reactive Ni/Al multilayers as heat source represents a new pathway for the fabrication of single phase high-entropy alloy films.


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