Characterizing nanoscale precipitation in a titanium alloy by laser-assisted atom probe tomography

James Coakley, Anna Radecka, David Dye, Paul A.j. Bagot, Tomas L. Martin, Ty J. Prosa, Yimeng Chen, Howard J. Stone, David N. Seidman, Dieter Isheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
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Atom-probe tomography was performed on the metastable β-Ti alloy, Ti-5Al-5Mo-5V-3Cr wt% (Ti-5553), aged at 300 °C for 0 to 8 h, to precipitate the embrittling isothermal ω phase. Accurate precipitate quantification requires monitoring and controlling suitable charge-state ratios in the mass spectrum, which in turn are closely related to the laser pulse energy used. High ultraviolet laser pulse energies result in significant complex molecular ion formation during field-evaporation, causing mass spectral peak overlaps that inherently complicate data analyses. Observations and accurate quantification of the ω-phase under such conditions are difficult. The effect is minimized or eliminated by using smaller laser pulse energies. With a small laser pulse energy, Ti-rich and solute depleted precipitates of the isothermal ω phase with an oxygen enriched interface are observed as early as after 1 h aging time utilizing the LEAP 5000X S (77% detection efficiency). We note that these precipitates were not detected below a 2 h aging time with the LEAP 4000X Si (58% detection efficiency). The results are compared to the archival literature. The Al concentration in the matrix/precipitate interfacial region increases during aging. Nucleation of the α-phase at longer aging times may be facilitated by the O and Al enrichment at the matrix/precipitate interface (both strong α-stabilisers). The kinetics and compositional trajectory of the ω-phase with aging time are quantified, facilitating direct correlation of the APT data to previously published mechanical testing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Characterization
Early online date14 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Atom probe tomography
  • Titanium alloys
  • ω-Phase
  • Precipitation
  • Aging


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