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Chemical microanalysis of the oxygen-stabilised amorphous phase in a Zr50Cu50 alloy using energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) analysis and electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS)

An oxygen-stabilised amorphous phase was formed in a Zr^Cu^ alloy after low-temperature, annealing (Nicholls et al. 1986, Liu et al. 2001). The amorphous phase was distributed in the martensitic ZrCu matrix in the form of localised regions with sizes ranging from 0.1 μπι to 1 μπι (Liu et al. to appear). It is of importance to have accurate knowledge about the chemistry of the amorphous phase in order to understand its formation mechanism. This paper reports EDX/STEM and EELS quantitative analyses of the amorphous phase. In the EELS analysis, stoichiometric oxide standards Zr02 and CuO were used to determine experimentally the k-factore.