Amorphous metals are conventionally made by mechanical splat-cooling of molten alloys. Cooling rates achieved a range up to ~106°C/sec, enough to obtain metallic glass formation for a number of binary or more complicated mixtures of near-eutectic composition. We are using nanosecond laser pulses to induce melting, alloying, and rapid solidification of thin (a few 1000-Å) films deposited on suitable substrates. Cooling rates achieved in this process are in excess of 1010°C/sec, as inferred from numerical simulations of the motion of the liquid-solid phase boundary.
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