Decomposition in the undercooled liquid phase and crystallization during isothermal annealing in the glassy matrix of the bulk Zr56Ti14Nb5Cu7Ni6Be12 composite were investigated by x-ray diffraction, small angle neutron scattering (SANS), scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Upon isothermal annealing near the glass transition temperature TEM images show the presence of quasicrystals, while SANS data exhibit an interference peak indicating a quasiperiodic arrangement of these metastable crystals. Samples annealed in the solid state show a transformation into the more stable Zr2 TM-type (TM=Nb,Cu,Ni,Ti) phases. These results have been discussed on the basis of a phase separation process that determines the formation of the metastable quasicrystalline phase that is in good agreement with the behavior of other known bulk metallic glass-forming systems.

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