Efficient atomic-scale kinetics through a complex heterophase interface

Laure Bourgeois, Nikhil V. Medhekar, Andrew E. Smith, Matthew Weyland, Jian Feng Nie, Christian Dwyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Atomic-scale imaging and first-principles modeling are applied to the heterophase interface between the Al-Cu solid solution (αCu) and θ (Al2Cu) phases. Contrary to recent studies, our observations reveal a diffuse interface of complex but well-defined structure that enables the progression from αCu to θ over a distance of ≈1 nm. We demonstrate that, surprisingly, the observed interfacial structure is not preferred on energetic grounds. Rather, the excess in interfacial energy is compensated by efficient atomic-scale kinetics of the αCu→θ phase transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number046102
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 25 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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