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Self-Assembly of Two Unit Cells into a Nanodomain Structure Containing Five-Fold Symmetry

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journal contribution
posted on 20.07.2018, 00:00 by Hongbo Xie, Hucheng Pan, Yuping Ren, Shineng Sun, Liqing Wang, Hong Zhao, Boshu Liu, Song Li, Gaowu Qin
Five-fold symmetry was forbidden for the periodic crystals until the discovery of the Al–Mn icosahedral quasicrystal. We report a kind of precipitated rod-shaped nanophase containing five-fold symmetry but not belonging to any crystals or quasicrystals discovered so far. These metastable nanodomain phases, which precipitated in Mg-6Zn alloy during isothermal aging at 200 °C, contain two separate unit cells in the 2D plane perpendicular to the five-fold axis but with periodic atom arrangement along the five-fold axis, that is, 72° rhombus structure and 72° equilateral hexagon structure. The self-assembly of two unit cells under some geometrical constraints into a nanodomain contains the 2D five-fold, C14, and C15 structures. This finding confirms the existence of solid matters in a special structure between the crystals and quasicrystals, and it is expected to provide a way to understand the atomic arrangement and stacking behavior in condensed matters.