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Nature Communications


Chemical short-range order in disordered solid solutions often emerges with specific heat treatments. Unlike thermally activated ordering, mechanically derived short-range order (MSRO) in a multi-principal-element Fe40Mn40Cr10Co10 (at%) alloy originates from tensile deformation at 77 K, and its degree/extent can be tailored by adjusting the loading rates under quasistatic conditions. The mechanical response and multi-length-scale characterisation pointed to the minor contribution of MSRO formation to yield strength, mechanical twinning, and deformation-induced displacive transformation. Scanning and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and the anlaysis of electron diffraction patterns revealed the microstructural features responsible for MSRO and the dependence of the ordering degree/extent on the applied strain rates. Here, we show that underpinned by molecular dynamics, MSRO in the alloys with low stacking-fault energies forms when loaded at 77 K, and these systems that offer different perspectives on the process of strain-induced ordering transition are driven by crystalline lattice defects (dislocations and stacking faults).





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