This volume contains most of the papers presented at symposium D, one of the four symposia that formed the 1988 Strasbourg Spring Conference. The three day programme consisted of nine oral sessions; a poster session and a plenary talk giving an overview of current topics in hard magnetic materials. Scientists involved in basic as well as applied research concentrated their discussions on the fundamental processes relevant for the formation of metastable alloys such as amorphous alloys (metallic glasses), microcrystalline, quasicrystalline and nanocrystalline alloys and their applications. These materials are proving to be of considerable interest to research workers because of their possible application in the electronics industry, e.g. as diffusion barriers in devices or as data storage media.