We have fabricated micro-/nano- pillars of a Zr-based metallic glass, Zr50Ti16.5Cu15Ni18.5, with pillar tip diameters ranging from ~750 nm to ~110 nm. These pillars were mechanically tested quantitatively in-situ in a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). Due to a slight tapering of ~3°, the deformation accommodated with shear bands is driven downwards from the top. However, the real time monitoring of shear bands evolution in-situ in TEM makes it possible to measure the effective load-bearing diameter, i.e., the diameter ahead of the most forefront shear band, which enables the precise measurement of yield strength of these pillars. Consequently, it turns out that the yield strength is essentially size independent and close to the bulk value. Statistical physics description of strength of small size metallic glasses is discussed, and it is concluded that Weibull Statistics is inappropriate in describing strength of metallic glasses at micro and nano length scales.
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