This paper reviews the recent research and development of high-entropy alloys (HEAs). HEAs are loosely defined as solid solution alloys that contain more than five principal elements in equal or near equal atomic percent (at.%). The concept of high entropy introduces a new path of developing advanced materials with unique properties, which can’t be achieved by the conventional micro-alloying approach based on only one dominant element. Up to date, many HEAs with promising properties have been reported, e.g., high wear-resistant HEAs, Co1.5CrFeNi1.5Ti and Al0.2Co1.5CrFeNi1.5Ti alloys; high-strength body-centered-cubic (BCC) AlCoCrFeNi HEAs at room temperature, and NbMoTaV HEA at elevated temperatures. Furthermore, the general corrosion resistance of the Cu0.5NiAlCoCrFeSi HEA is much better than that of the conventional 304-stainless steel. This paper first reviews HEA formation in relation to thermodynamics, kinetics, and processing. Physical, magnetic, chemical, and mechanical properties are then discussed. Great details are provided on the plastic deformation, fracture, and magnetization from the perspectives of crackling noise and Barkhausen noise measurements, and the analysis of serrations on stress-strain curves at specific strain rates or testing temperatures, as well as the serrations of the magnetization hysteresis loops. The comparison between conventional and high-entropy bulk metallic glasses is analyzed from the viewpoints of eutectic composition, dense atomic packing, and entropy of mixing. Glass forming ability and plastic properties of high-entropy bulk metallic glasses are also discussed. Modeling techniques applicable to HEAs are introduced and discussed, such as ab initio molecular dynamics simulations and CALPHAD modeling. Finally, future developments and potential new research directions for HEAs are proposed.
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