Disordered Atomic Packing Structure of Metallic Glass: Toward Ultrafast Hydroxyl Radicals Production Rate and Strong Electron Transfer Ability in Catalytic Performance
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Developing new functional applications of metallic glasses in catalysis is an active and pivotal topic for materials science as well as novel environmental catalysis processes. Compared to the crystalline materials with highly ordered atomic packing, metallic glass has a simply disordered atomic structure. Recent reports have demonstrated that the metallic glasses are indeed having many superiorly catalytic properties, yet the understanding of the mechanism is insufficient. In this work, the structural relaxation (a-relaxation) by annealing in an amorphous Fe 78 Si 9 B 13 alloy is studied for unraveling the catalytic mechanism at the atomic scale. The volume fractions of the crystalline structures, such as a-Fe, Fe 2 Si, and Fe 2 B, in the as-received and annealed metallic glasses are fully characterized. It is found that the randomly atomic packing structure with weak atomic bonding in the as-received metallic glass has an efficient electron transfer capability, presenting advanced superiorities in the aspects of production rate of hydroxyl radicals (•OH), dye degradation rate (k), and essential degradation ability (K SA ) for water treatment. The discovery of this critically important work unveils why using metallic glasses as catalysts has higher reactivity than the crystalline materials, and more importantly, it provides new research opportunities into the study of synthetic catalysts.
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