校务委员 / 教授
Developments of high-strength aluminum alloys have always faced a difficult problem: owing to their small size, the early-stage strengthening precipitates are difficult to characterize in terms of composition, structure and evolution. Here we employ atomic-resolution transmission electron microscopy and first-principles energy calculations to address these problems. Recent years, we have investigated tens of typical high-strength aluminum alloys for understanding their property-structure-process correlations. Our study demonstrates the followings: (1) Atomic-resolution imaging in STEM can provide straightforward structure models at the atomic-scale, whereas atomic-resolution imaging in HRTEM with rapid quantitative image simulation analysis can provide the refined structures with high precision beyond the resolution limitation of the microscope. (2) Most of the early-stage precipitates in aluminum alloys are highly dynamic in both composition and structure. Typically, having their characteristic genetic skeletons to guide their evolution, these dynamic precipitates initiate, mature and grow with thermal aging following characteristic evolution paths.