Combined use of small-angle neutron scattering and atom probe tomography for the analysis of precipitatesin a Fe-15 m%Co-25 m%Mo alloy


Atom probe tomography (APT) measurements were conducted to analyze nm-sized precipitates in a Fe-25 m% Co-15 m% Mo model alloy. Calculation of isoconcentration surfaces and application of cluster-search algorithms yielded the chemical compositions of matrix and precipitates. Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) was performed in order to calculate the ratio of magnetic to nuclear scattering. This so-called A-ratio was compared with values calculated from the chemical information derived from the atom probe data. For this, the magnetism of the precipitates has to be taken into account. Ab-initio studies have been carried out to determine the magnetic moment of the precipitate phase. The results show that the extremely fine precipitates are ferromagnetic and exhibit near-equilibrium composition. In the very early stage of decomposition, however, the composition is different from near-equilibrium. The influences of the magnetism of the precipitates as well as of artifacts from atom probe measurements on the obtained results are discussed.
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