4.8 Review

High-entropy alloys

Journal

NATURE REVIEWS MATERIALS
Volume 4, Issue 8, Pages 515-534

Publisher

NATURE PORTFOLIO
DOI: 10.1038/s41578-019-0121-4

Keywords

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Funding

  1. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering, through the Materials Science and Technology Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  2. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering, through the Materials Sciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  3. European Research Council (ERC) through the 7th Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) ERC Advanced Grant SMARMET [290998]
  4. European Research Council (ERC) through the German Research Foundation (DFG) through the Priority Programme 'Compositionally Complex Alloys - High Entropy Alloys (CCA-HEA)' (special priority programme (SPP)) [2006]

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Alloying has long been used to confer desirable properties to materials. Typically, it involves the addition of relatively small amounts of secondary elements to a primary element. For the past decade and a half, however, a new alloying strategy that involves the combination of multiple principal elements in high concentrations to create new materials called high-entropy alloys has been in vogue. The multi-dimensional compositional space that can be tackled with this approach is practically limitless, and only tiny regions have been investigated so far. Nevertheless, a few high-entropy alloys have already been shown to possess exceptional properties, exceeding those of conventional alloys, and other outstanding high-entropy alloys are likely to be discovered in the future. Here, we review recent progress in understanding the salient features of high-entropy alloys. Model alloys whose behaviour has been carefully investigated are highlighted and their fundamental properties and underlying elementary mechanisms discussed. We also address the vast compositional space that remains to be explored and outline fruitful ways to identify regions within this space where high-entropy alloys with potentially interesting properties may be lurking.

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