Kinetic pathways of diffusion and solid-state reactions in nanostructured thin films

D. L. Beke, G. A. Langer, G. Molnár, G. Erdélyi, G. L. Katona, A. Lakatos, K. Vad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


Mass transport and solid-state reactions in nanocrystalline thin films are reviewed. It is illustrated that diffusion along different grain boundaries (GBs) can have important effects on the overall intermixing process between two pure films. These processes can be well characterized by a bimodal GB network, with different (fast and slow) diffusivities. First the atoms migrate along fast GBs and accumulate at the film surface. These accumulated atoms form a secondary diffusion source for back diffusion along slow boundaries. Thus the different GBs of the thin films can be gradually filled up with the diffusing atoms and composition depth profiles reflect the result of these processes. Similar processes can be observed in binary systems with intermetallic layers: instead of nucleation and growth of the reaction layer at the initial interface, the reaction takes place in the GBs and the amount of the product phase grows by the motion of its interfaces perpendicular to the GBs. Thus, the entire layer of the pure parent films can be consumed by this GB diffusion-induced solid-state reaction (GBDIREAC), and a fully homogeneous product layer can be obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1960-1970
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophical Magazine
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2013


  • diffusion
  • nanostructure
  • solid-state reaction
  • thin film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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