Metallic glasses exhibit very high strength and intrinsically low density due to their “liquid-like” atomic structure. This seemingly “random” atomic ordering has been historically difficult to measure, but recent work has characterized it in simple systems using advanced X-ray sources and first principles simulations [1-3].
Previous work in the High Strain Rate Lab with a bulk metallic glass indicated a shock induced transition to a high-pressure phase with a higher bulk modulus . High pressure studies performed quasi-statically with a diamond anvil cell on a binary Ce-Al metallic glass showed pressure-induced polyamorphism into a higher density amorphous structure at pressures above ~1 GPa  and then crystallization into a unique phase at ~25 GPa .
This work focuses on characterizing the shock compression induced atomic structural changes in Ce3Al metallic glass. Shock compression is accomplished using the 3J Nd:YAG pulse laser in the High Strain Rate Lab and the 50 J OMEGA laser at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics in Rochester, NY. Characterization of recovered samples is performed using the National Synchrotron Light Source (I & II) at Brookhaven National Lab. The results of this work will advance our fundamental understanding of pressure-induced phase changes in metallic glasses.
Figure 1: Cross-Sectional Schematic of the Georgia Tech HSRL Nd:YAG pulsed laser shock setup
Figure 2: Schematic illustration of the side (a) and top (b) view of the sample stack used in the recovery tube (c) for OMEGA laser experiments
 Miracle, D. B., “A structural model for metallic glasses,” Nature Materials, vol. 3, pp. 697-702, Oct. 2004.
 Miracle, D. B., “A Physical Model for Metallic Glass Structures: An Introduction and Update,” JOM, vol. 64, pp. 846-855, July 2012.
 Ma, E., “Tuning order in disorder,” Nature Materials, vol. 14, pp. 547-552, June 2015.
 Martin, M., T. Sekine, T. Kobayashi, L. Kecskes, N. N. Thadhani, “High-Pressure Equation of State of a Zirconium-Based Bulk Metallic Glass,” Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, vol. 38, pp. 2689-2696, Nov. 2007.
 Zeng, Q., et. al., “Origin of pressure-induced polyamorphism in Ce75Al25 metallic glass,” Physical review letters, vol. 104, no. 10, pp. 105702, 2010.
 Zeng, Q., et. al., “Long-range topological order in metallic glass,” Science, vol. 332, no. 6036, pp. 1404-1406, 2011.