Structure and growth of core–shell nanoprecipitates in Al–Er–Sc–Zr–V–Si high-temperature alloys

Wahaz Nasim, Sadegh Yazdi, Ruben Santamarta, Jahanzaib Malik, Dinc Erdeniz, Bilal Mansoor, David N. Seidman, David C. Dunand, Ibrahim Karaman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Lightweight Sc-containing aluminum alloys exhibit superior mechanical performance at high temperatures due to core–shell, L12-ordered trialuminide nanoprecipitates. In this study, the structure of these nanoprecipitates was studied, using different transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques, for an Al–Er–Sc–Zr–V–Si alloy that was subjected to a two-stage overaging heat treatment. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy of the spherical Al3(Sc, Zr, Er ,V) nanoprecipitates revealed a core–shell structure with an Sc- and Er-enriched core and a Zr-enriched shell, without a clear V outer shell. This structure is stable up to 72% of the absolute melting temperature of Al for extended periods of time. High-angle annular dark-field scanning TEM was used to image the {100} planes of the nanoprecipitates, demonstrating a homogeneous L12-ordered superlattice structure for the entire nanoprecipitates, despite the variations in the concentrations of solute atoms within the unit cells. A possible growth path and compositional trajectory for these nanoprecipitates was proposed using high-resolution TEM observations, where different rod-like structural defects were detected, which are considered to be precursors to the spherical L12-ordered nanoprecipitates. It is also hypothesized that the structural defects could consist of segregated Si; however, this was not possible to verify with HAADF-STEM because of the small differences in Al and Si atomic numbers. The results herein allow a better understanding of how the Al–Sc alloys’ core–shell nanoprecipitates form and evolve temporally, thereby providing a better physical picture for future atomistic structural mappings and simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1857-1871
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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