Co-segregation of Mg and Zn atoms at the planar η1-precipitate/Al matrix interface in an aged Al–Zn–Mg alloy

Bingqing Cheng, Xiaojun Zhao, Yong Zhang, Houwen Chen, Ian Polmear, Jian Feng Nie

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Using aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy, the interface between η1-precipitates and Al matrix in the aged Al–2.12Zn–1.71Mg (at.%) alloy has been investigated. Atomic-resolution X-ray dispersive spectroscopy mapping reveals the occurrence of co-segregation of Mg and Zn atoms in the {002}α habit plane of the η1(MgZn2) precipitates. Site-specific Mg atoms segregate outside the concave of an outermost zig-zag Zn-rich layer of the η1 habit plane. Zn segregation surround the segregated Mg atomic columns was also observed. Hybrid molecular dynamics (MD) and Monte Carlo (MC) atomistic simulations with the accuracy of density functional theory indicate the site-specific segregation is energetically favourable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-55
Number of pages5
JournalScripta Materialia
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Aluminium alloys
  • Deep neural network based calculation and simulation
  • Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy
  • High-angle annular dark field
  • Interface segregation

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