Effects of coherency stress and vacancy sources/sinks on interdiffusion across coherent multilayer interfaces - Part I: Theory

Author: Wan, HB; Shen, Y; Jin, XJ; Chen, YX; Sun, J





A phase field model corresponding to vacancy-mediated interdiffusion in coherent multilayers with completely miscible constituents is developed to explore the effects of several factors on interdiffusion across coherent multilayer interfaces, such as: (1) the dependence of diffusion potentials and mobilities on coherency stress; (2) the dependence of diffusion potentials and mobilities on composition; (3) the elastic constant inhomogeneity resulting from a inhomogeneous composition distribution; and (4) the properties of vacancy sources/sinks. The Gibbs free energy of the system consists of chemical and elastic energies. The gradient energy is neglected as the multilayers under consideration can be chemically well approximated by an ideal substitutional solution model. Elastic energy is a function of the stress-free strain and inhomogeneous elastic moduli distributions, while the stress is solved by anisotropic phase field microelasticity theory. The diffusion potentials are obtained straightforwardly as functional derivatives of the free energy with respect to composition and are in keeping with previous derivations that involved many mathematical manipulations or quite advanced theories. The diffusion mobilities are affected by the stress through modification of the vacancy formation and migration energies. Two limiting cases of vacancy sources/sinks are taken into account: ideal vacancy sources/sinks are uniformly and densely distributed, or not present at all, so the vacancy concentration is in equilibrium all the times, as determined by the local stress and composition in the former case, but deviates from the equilibrium concentration in the latter. The model can be conveniently extended to consider the non-ideal activity of vacancy sources/sinks by introducing a general kinetic relation for the vacancy creation rate.