Thermodynamics and Kinetics in Materials Science

Instructor:Alexey Rodin

Course Summary

This discipline presents a short but thorough, content of the main concepts of thermodynamics and kinetics in materials science. It is designed for students (master’s course) in a material science oriented education.

The first part of the discipline includes: short description of chemical thermodynamics, including chemical equilibrium and in gaseous phase, in heterogenic systems, solution formation problems and thermodynamic description of solutions. In addition some specific effects of surfaces and interfaces (adsorption and segregation isotherms, kinetics of adsorption and segregation; surface tension, wetting of surface and grain boundaries) will be discussed.

The second part gives the description of kinetic problem, including: kinetic of gaseous-solid reaction, kinetic of new phase formation and diffusion growth of new phase.

The lectures are accompanied by a large number of practical works on the base of real processes description, including: thermodynamic and kinetic of oxidation process, reduction of oxides, inclusion formation, pores formation and annihilation problem.

It assumes that the student is familiar with the concepts typically taught in introductory, bachelor-level courses in mathematics, physics and chemistry. These are differential equations, thermodynamics laws, phase equilibrium, chemical kinetics, physical metallurgy.

Learning Outcomes

The goal of the course is training of the specialists in the field of description of thermodynamics and kinetics of solid state reactions and phase transformations in materials. It includes

  • to use the modern thermodynamic models for description of chemical reaction and phase transformation in materials;
  • to describe the kinetics of the mass transport in solids including the process of surface and interfaces;
  • to work independently with the literature in search, choice and checking of correctness of the necessary information.

Course Format

Hours of lectureHours of discussionHours in laboratoryHours of independent studyTotal numbers of hours

Course Content

  1. Basic thermodynamics, evolution and degradation of materials, equilibrium in system with one chemical reaction. Calculation of Equilibrium state.
  2. The systems with several reactions. Oxidation/reduction. Possibility of reduction at different condition. Calculations for simplest cases.
  3. General properties of solutions. Chemical potential, thermodynamic activity. Description of dissolution. Solubility limit. Solubility of gases in metals. Gas porosity.
  4. Thermodynamic of the process in the solutions. Competition between processes. Description of the inclusion formation. (Estimation of possibility of oxide particles formation in steels).
  5. Kinetics of chemical reaction. Fluid and solid systems. Multistage process. Reactions with oxygen as an example of different controlling stages.
  6. Calculation of the process rate on gas/solid interface. Oxidizing of Al.
  7. Mass transport in different phases. Diffusion and non-diffusion process. Diffusion flux.
  8. Diffusion equation. Particle growth in solids. Kinetic of carbide particle growth.
  9. Surface and interphase. Thermodynamic of surface. Surface tension and adsorption.
  10. Gibbs and Guggenheim approach. Calculation of adsorption. Adsorption on grain boundaries.
  11. Particle growth at grain boundaries.
  12. Pores formation and annihilation. Competition between deformation and vacancy mechanism of pores annihilation.

Reading List

Basic literature:

  1. Boris S. Bokstein, Mikhail I. Mendelev, David J. Srolovitz, Thermodynamics and kinetics in materials science (a short course), Oxford University Press, 2005.
  2. Prigogine, Ilya and Dufay, Raymond. Chemical Thermodynamics. Longmans, Green. 1954.

Supplementary literature:

  1. Leonard M. Sandler. Advanced condensed matter. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009.


Homework assignments40 %
Final exam60 %