Nanocomposites stabilized by elevated-temperature ball milling of Ag50Cu50 powders: An atom probe tomographic study

Fang Wu, Dieter Isheim, Pascal Bellon*, David N. Seidman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Ag50Cu50 alloys were prepared by high-energy ball milling at 393, 423, and 453 K. Atom probe tomography was used to characterize the microstructure and the local composition of the milled powders. The dynamical competition between the atomic mixing forced by milling and the phase separation promoted by thermodynamic driving forces results in the self-organization of the microstructure into compositional patterns. Three-dimensional atom reconstructions show that the length-scale of the compositional patterns increases with increasing milling temperature, from about 1 nm at 393 K to 3-5 nm at 423 K and 5-10 nm at 453 K. Interfaces of the nanocomposites produced by milling at 423 and 453 K, analyzed using the proxigram technique, are found to be quite diffuse, ∼2 nm. The results are discussed in the light of a new analysis of the chemical mixing forced by plastic deformation, and its role in the stabilization of compositional patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2605-2613
Number of pages9
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Copper alloys
  • Mechanical alloying
  • Nanostructure
  • Self-organization and patterning
  • Three-dimensional atom probe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys

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