Structure and Dynamics of Metallic Glass – Atomistic Insights from Neutron and Synchrotron Scattering Experiments

20 April 2021


Professor Xun-Li Wang delivered an online lecture for the Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study.

Professor Xun-Li Wang, a renowned scholar in neutron scattering, presented a lecture titled “Structure and Dynamics of Metallic Glass – Atomistic Insights from Neutron and Synchrotron Scattering Experiments” at the online talk of the Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study (HKIAS) Lecture Series on Physics at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) on 14 April 2021. Close to 300 online participants joined this virtual lecture.

The prestigious journal Science has identified the understanding of atomic structure and dynamics of glass structures as one of the 125 grand scientific challenges. In the talk, Professor Xun-Li Wang, Head and Chair Professor of Department of Physics of CityU discussed atomistic insights on metallic glass structure and phonon dynamics.

There are two main classes of solids based on their atomic arrangements: crystalline and amorphous solids. Professor Wang explained there is no long-range order in amorphous solids (also known as glass) because glasses are obtained by rapid quenching from the liquid state, bypassing atomic ordering on cooling. He pointed out that the experimental study of the physical properties of amorphous materials has been tough due to the lack of disordered atomic arrangement.

Recently, Professor Wang and his research team discovered that by applying neutron scattering instrumentation and molecular dynamic simulations, they could visualize the atomic structure of glass materials correlates with its atomic dynamics. This finding provided a new insight for understanding the atomic structure-dynamics relationship in disordered materials.

There are many theories and models on the structure and dynamics of liquids and glass. Professor Wang concluded that their findings could provide a new guideline for developing theories and models related to the structure-dynamics relationship in glassy materials.

Professor Wang has maintained an active research portfolio. He conducts research at the interface between condensed matter physics and materials science. His current research interests include structure and dynamics in metallic glass, deformation behaviours in high entropy alloys, and magneto-elastic coupling in magnetic shape memory alloys. Over the 30 years, Professor Wang has dedicated his efforts to establishing Hong Kong as an international hub for neutron scattering research.

Prior to joining CityU in 2012, Professor Wang had worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US, rising through the ranks to Distinguished Staff Member. He is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Neutron Scattering Society of America. Recently, Professor Wang has been awarded the Croucher Senior Research Fellowship 2021.

This lecture is supported in part by the Kwang Hua Educational Foundation.

  (Right) Professor Jacob Huang, Executive Director of HKIAS and Chair Professor of Department of Materials Science and Engineering, presented a souvenir to (left) Professor Wang. Various distinguished scholars at CityU discussed vigorously with the speaker.  

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