Combinatorial development of antibacterial Zr-Cu-Al-Ag thin film metallic glasses

Yanhui Liu, Jagannath Padmanabhan, Bettina Cheung, Jingbei Liu, Zheng Chen, B. Ellen Scanley, Donna Wesolowski, Mariyah Pressley, Christine C. Broadbridge, Sidney Altman, Udo D. Schwarz, Themis R. Kyriakides, Jan Schroers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Metallic alloys are normally composed of multiple constituent elements in order to achieve integration of a plurality of properties required in technological applications. However, conventional alloy development paradigm, by sequential trial-and-error approach, requires completely unrelated strategies to optimize compositions out of a vast phase space, making alloy development time consuming and labor intensive. Here, we challenge the conventional paradigm by proposing a combinatorial strategy that enables parallel screening of a multitude of alloys. Utilizing a typical metallic glass forming alloy system Zr-Cu-Al-Ag as an example, we demonstrate how glass formation and antibacterial activity, two unrelated properties, can be simultaneously characterized and the optimal composition can be efficiently identified. We found that in the Zr-Cu-Al-Ag alloy system fully glassy phase can be obtained in a wide compositional range by co-sputtering, and antibacterial activity is strongly dependent on alloy compositions. Our results indicate that antibacterial activity is sensitive to Cu and Ag while essentially remains unchanged within a wide range of Zr and Al. The proposed strategy not only facilitates development of high-performing alloys, but also provides a tool to unveil the composition dependence of properties in a highly parallel fashion, which helps the development of new materials by design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number26950
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - May 27 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Combinatorial development of antibacterial Zr-Cu-Al-Ag thin film metallic glasses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this