We have used fluctuation microscopy to reveal the presence of structural order on length scales of 1–2 nm in metallic glasses. We compare results of fluctuation microscopy measurements with high resolution transmission electron microscopy and electron diffraction observations on a series of metallic glass samples with differing degrees of structural order. The agreement between the fluctuation microscopy results and those of the other techniques is good. In particular, we show that the technique used to make thin specimens for electron microscopy affects the structure of the metallic glass, with ion thinning inducing more structural order than electropolishing. We also show that relatively minor changes in the composition of the alloy can have a significant effect on the medium-range order; this increased order is correlated with changes in mechanical behavior.
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