Kinetics of surface segregation in alloys

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The kinetics of surface segregation in ordering alloys are studied with the help of a multilayer model in slabs of different thicknesses. The time evolution of the concentrations of atomic layers perpendicular to the (100) planes of an AB-type BCC ordering alloy (CoFe) are calculated. As a result of the competition between the surface segregation of A atoms and ordering in the bulk, a metastable configuration with two anti-phase boundaries (APB) inside the slab, with odd numbers of layers, was obtained if we started from an ordered initial state with B atoms on the free surfaces (B-termination). The effect of the temperature was also investigated for a slab with 41 layers and from the calculation of the free energies of the metastable and stable states it was shown that the metastable state can exist below T1 = 0.95Tc, where Tc is the critical temperature of the order-disorder transition in bulk. It was obtained that T1 decreases with decreasing thickness of the slab, while the difference of free energies of the metastable and stable states slightly increases. The effect of the slab thickness is a typical size effect: the time necessary to reach the steady state decreases with decreasing number of layers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-361
Number of pages17
JournalSurface Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 20 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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