Diffusion in Solids

Instructor: Boris Bokstein

Alexey Rodin

Course Summary

This course discusses the following major topical areas: diffusion equations and their solutions, diffusion parameters, random walks model, mechanisms of diffusion in solids, in particular, vacancy mechanism, diffusion in multiphase systems, thermoduffusion, diffusion in grain and phase boundaries, effect of grain boundary segregation on grain boundary diffusion, diffusion in nanomaterials and the rate of several processes controlled by diffusion, such as growth of the phases, diffusion creep, etc.

The lectures are accompanied by a large number of seminars which will help the students to obtain the necessary competencies. The pedagogical aspect of the course is enhanced with computer-based self-tests. These include over 400 questions and 2000 answers. Also the student is obliged to write a test with theoretical questions and problems which illustrate or expand upon the theoretical ideas in the text, and he is obliged to fulfill the home work on the carbon diffusion in carbon iron.

Course Format

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

Learning Outcomes

By the completion of this course, students will be expected to

  • to organize the experiments based on different physical phenomena
  • to use the basic physical effects for investigation of thermodynamic and kinetic phenomena

Course Content

  • Diffusion Equations and Their Solutions
  • Diffusion Parameters
  • Random Walks Model, Mechanisms of Diffusion in Solids, Vacancy Mechanism
  • Diffusion in Multiphase Systems,
  • Thermoduffusion
  • Diffusion in Grain and Phase Boundaries, Effect of Grain Boundary Segregation on Grain Boundary Diffusion
  • Diffusion in Nanomaterials
  • Processes Controlled by Diffusion

Reading List

Primary textbooks:

  1. H. Mehrer. Diffusion in Solids, Springer 2012
  2. I. Kaur, W. Gust. Fundamentals of grain boundary diffusion. Springer, 1990


Class participation10%
Homework assignments20%
Laboratory works20%
Final exam50%