Alloys

A stable binary quasicrystal

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Abstract

All stable quasicrystals known so far are composed of at least three metallic elements1,2,3,4. Sixteen years after the discovery of the quasicrystal5, we describe a stable binary quasicrystalline alloy in a cadmium–ytterbium (Cd–Yb) system. The structure of this alloy represents a new class of packing of 66-atom icosahedral clusters whose internal structure breaks the icosahedral symmetry. The binary quasicrystal offers a new opportunity to investigate the relation between thermodynamic stability and quasiperiodic structure, as well as providing a basis for the construction of crystallographic models.

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Figure 1: Cd5,7Yb quasicrystal.

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Correspondence to A. P. Tsai.

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