Attributing to the attractive mechanical properties, e.g., high yield strength and fracture toughness, the atomic and electronic basis for high entropy alloys (HEAs) are under extensive studies. In the present work, the local atomic arrangement of body-centered-cubic (BCC) equiatomic HEAs are revealed by the CN14 cluster-plus-glue-atom model and the 32 atoms special quasirandom structures. Moreover, the cluster-plus-glue-atom model is utilized to generate ordered and disordered configurations. The bonding lengths among the same and different alloying elements are comprehensively compared in term of their partial pair correlation function (PCF). According to the specific (well-defined) position of each partial PCF of the BCC structure, the order–disorder/random configurational transitions are revealed by the absence of partial PCF peaks. Here, the WMoTM1TM2 (TM = Ta, Nb, and V) BCC equiatomic refractory HEAs are selected as a case study. Through mixing various groups of alloying elements, the atomic-size differences not only result in the lattice mismatch/distortion but also yield the formation of weak spots. Their bonding-charge density captures the electron redistributions caused by the coupling effect of the lattice distortion and valance electron differences among various elements, which also presents the physical nature of the loosely-bonded weak spots and the tightly-bonded clusters. It is worth mentioning that both the PCF and the negative enthalpy of mixing can be utilized to characterize the clusters or the short range ordering in the HEAs. The microstates revealed by the cluster-plus-glue-atom model are in line with the novel small set of the ordered structures method reported in the literature.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry