BaGe alloys with two compositions near their eutectic point form open framework structures called the clathrate structure. These BaGe compounds with the clathrate structure can be made by rapid solidification from their liquid state. However, the formation mechanism of the clathrate structure has not been clarified due to lack of information on their liquid-state structure and properties. Since BaGe alloy melts have very high reactivity, it is difficult to measure the thermophysical properties of them by ordinary methods using a container. Therefore, a containerless technique must be used to measure the thermophysical properties of BaGe melts. Using the electrostatic levitation (ESL) technique as a containerless technique, the thermophysical properties (density, surface tension, and viscosity) of BaGe melts around the eutectic composition were measured in order to clarify the formation mechanism of the clathrate structure, and also the structure of them was observed by using the high-energy X-ray diffraction method combined with ESL. From experimental results, it was observed that the short-range order based on the clathrate structure exists even in the liquid state at the clathrate-forming compositions.
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