Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Ralph Napolitano


Phase selection and microstructure formation during the rapid solidification of alloy melts has been a topic of substantial interest over the last several decades, attributed mainly to the access to novel structures involving metastable crystalline and non-crystalline phases. In this work, Bridgeman type directional solidification was conducted in Pd-Si-Cu glass forming system to study such cooling rate dependent phase transition and microstructure formation.

The equilibrium state for Pd-Si-Cu ternary system was investigated through three different works. First of all, phase stabilities for Pd-Si binary system was accessed with respects of first-principles and experiments, showing Pd5Si, Pd9Si2, Pd3Si and Pd2Si phase are stable all way to zero Kevin while PdSi phase is a high temperature stable phase, and Pd2Si phase with Fe2P is a non-stoichiometry phase. A thermodynamic database was developed for Pd-Si system. Second, crystal structures for compounds with ternary compositions were studied by XRD, SEM and TEM, showing ordered and disordered B2/bcc phases are stable in Pd-rich part. At last, based on many phase equilibria and phase transitions data, a comprehensive thermodynamic discrption for Pd-Si-Cu ternary system was first time to be developed, from which different phase diagrams and driving force for kinetics can be calculated.

Phase selection and microstructure formation in directional solidification of the best glass forming composition, Pd77.5Si16.5Cu6, in this system with growth velocities from 0.005 to 7.5mm/s was systematically studied and the solidification pathways at different conditions were interpreted from thermodynamic simulation. The results show that for growth velocities are smaller than 0.1mm/s Pd3Si phase is primary phase and Pd9Si2 phase is secondary phase, the difficulty for Pd9Si2 phase nucleation gives rise to the formation of two different eutectic structure. For growth velocities between 0.4 and 1mm/s, instead of Pd3Si phase, Pd9Si2 phase leads the solidification with a spiral form. At last, the crystallization can’t happen and the glass phase is obtained once the growth velocities are larger than 4.5mm/s

Copyright Owner

Yang Huo



File Format


File Size

141 pages

Included in

Engineering Commons