Interstitially carbon-alloyed refractory high-entropy alloys with a body-centered cubic structure

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  • ReceivedJun 7, 2021
  • AcceptedJul 8, 2021
  • PublishedAug 27, 2021


Funded by

the National Key Research and Development Program of China(2017YFA0303002)


We thank the foundation of Westlake University for financial support. The work at Zhejiang University was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFA0303002).

Interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Contributions statement

Cui Y initialized the project, synthesized the samples and did the physical property measurements with the assistance from Zhu Q , Xiao G, Yang W, Liu Y and Cao GH. Ren Z supervised the project and wrote the paper with input from Cui Y.

Author information

Yanwei Cui is currently a PhD student at the School of Science, Westlake University. He received his double bachelor degree from Chuzhou University in 2014, and master degree from Anhui Normal University in 2018. His research interests include the exploration and characterization of novel superconductors and functional materials.

Zhi Ren has been a principle investigator at the School of Science, Westlake University since 2017. He received his bachelor and doctoral degrees from Zhejiang University in 2004 and 2009, respectively. He was a specially appointed researcher at Osaka University from 2009 to 2012 and a postdoctoral assistant at the University of Geneva from 2013 to 2017. His research interests include the superconductivity and topological quantum state of materials.


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  • Figure 1

    (a) Powder XRD patterns at room temperature for the series of (Nb0.375Ta0.25Mo0.125W0.125Re0.125)100xCx HEAs. The major diffraction peaks are indexed on a bcc unit cell and the minor ones corresponding to the impurity phases are marked by the asterisks. (b) Zoom of the (002) peaks for the HEAs. (c) Cubic lattice parameter plotted as a function of C content x. The solid line is a linear fit to the data with R2 = 0.91.

  • Figure 2

    (a, b) EBSD phase maps for the (Nb0.375Ta0.25Mo0.125W0.125Re0.125)100xCx HEAs with x = 0 and 20, respectively. The scale bars are 100 µm. (c, d) Volume fractions of the bcc and fcc phases for the two HEAs, respectively.

  • Figure 3

    (a) Typical SEM image of the (Nb0.375Ta0.25Mo0.125W0.125Re0.125)100xCx HEAs (x = 20) HEA with the scale bar of 1 µm. (b–g) EDX elemental mapping for the Nb, Ta, Mo, W, Re and C elements, respectively. (h) HAADF-SEM image of this HEC with the scale bar of 2 nm. (i–n) EDX mapping for all the constituent elements.

  • Figure 4

    (a) XPS spectra in the C 1s region for the (Nb0.375Ta0.25Mo0.125W0.125Re0.125)100xCx HEAs with 5 £ x £ 20. The dashed lines are fit to the main peak at ~284.8 eV and the arrows mark the additional peaks for x = 20. (b) Deconvolution of the spectrum for the HEAs with x = 20. The existence of a small peak at ~282.5 eV is clearly visible.

  • Figure 5

    (a) Dependence of Vickers hardness on the applied load for the series of (Nb0.375Ta0.25Mo0.125W0.125Re0.125)100xCx HEAs . (b) Dependence of Vickers hardness at 19.6 N on the carbon content x for the HEAs. The solid line is a linear fit to the data with R2 = 0.96.

  • Figure 6

    (a) Temperature dependence of resistivity for the series of (Nb0.375Ta0.25Mo0.125W0.125Re0.125)100−xCx HEAs. The arrow marks the C content x increasing direction. (b) Low-temperature specific heat data plotted as Cp/T versus T2 for the series of HEAs. The solid lines are fits to the data by the Debye model.

  • Table 1   Structural, mechanical and physical parameters of the (Nb0.375Ta0.25Mo0.125W0.125Re0.125)100−xCx HEAs


    x = 0

    x = 5.9

    x = 11.1

    x = 15.8

    x = 20

    a (Å)






    Hv (GPa)






    ρ0(µΩ cm)












    γ (mJ moleatom−1 K−2)






    β (mJ moleatom−1 K−4)






    ΘD (K)







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