Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Recently, core-shell Ag-Co, Ag-Cu, and "onionlike" Cu-Co equilibrium configurations were predicted in the case of isolated face centered cubic (fcc) bimetallic clusters, and three shell onionlike configurations were predicted in the case of ternary metallic clusters with spherical and truncated octahedral morphologies. In the present paper, immiscible binary CuCo and ternary AgCuCo clusters with icosahedral structures are studied as functions of their size and composition. Clusters studied are formed by 13, 55, 147, 309, and 561 atoms corresponding to the five smallest possible closed shell icosahedral structures. An embedded atom model potential is used to describe their cohesion. Equilibrium configurations are investigated by means of Metropolis Monte Carlo free energy minimization in the (NPT) canonical ensemble. Most simulations are achieved at 10 and 300 K. The effect of temperature on segregation ordering is systematically investigated. Selected cases are used to identify the effect of size and composition on melting. In contrast with fcc clusters, homogeneous onionlike configurations of binary clusters are not predicted. When it is allowed by the composition, a complete outer shell is formed by Cu in binary Cu-Co clusters and by Ag in ternary Ag-Cu-Co clusters. Depending on temperature, Co may precipitate into decahedral groups under the Cu vertices of the icosahedra in binary clusters, while the Co-Cu configuration in ternary clusters drastically depends on the Ag coating. Despite the multicomponent character of the clusters and the immiscibility of the species forming them, for most compositions and sizes, equilibrium structures remain close to perfectly icosahedral at 10 K as well as at 300 K. © 2008 The American Physical Society.