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The atomic structure of nanometre-sized Zn–Zr precipitates in a Mg alloy is determined by combining tilt series of micro-beam electron diffraction with atomic resolution Z-contrast imaging. The stoichiometry of the Zn–Zr precipitates is Zn2Zr3 with a primitive tetragonal structure (space group P42/mnm, a = b = 0.761 nm, c = 0.682 nm). There are 20 atoms in the unit cell of tetragonal Zn2Zr3, comprising 12 Zr atoms at the 4d, 4f, 4g positions and eight Zn atoms at the 8j positions.

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