The development of long-range order in disordered Co-Pt alloy nanoparticles has been atomically resolved in situ with an ultra-high voltage electron microscope equipped with a direct electron detection camera. Electron-irradiation-enhanced ordering occurred at 573 K with 1 MeV electrons at a dose rate of 8.9 × 1024 e/m2s. High-speed (400 frames/s) imaging revealed fluctuations of the c-axis orientation of the L10–type ordered structure. Specifically, the c-axis orientation changes occurred at 2.5-ms intervals. Thus, the atomic ordering rate at 573 K is deduced to be 3 × 10−17 m2/s, which is 1013 times higher than that estimated for interdiffusion in a bulk Co-Pt alloy. The observed kinetic ordering temperature of 573 K is significantly lower than that reported previously (>800 K). The low-temperature ordering may be the result of enhanced atom migration via excess vacancies, 106 times higher than that at thermal equilibrium, introduced by the high-energy electron irradiation.

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