Lattice diffusion coefficient

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Interstitial Atomic diffusion across a 4-coordinated lattice. Note that the atoms often block each other from moving to adjacent sites. As per Fick’s law, the net flux (or movement of atoms) is always in the opposite direction of the concentration gradient.

Lattice diffusion (also called bulk or volume diffusion) refers to atomic diffusion within a crystalline lattice.[1] Diffusion within the crystal lattice occurs by either interstitial or substitutional mechanisms and is referred to as lattice diffusion. In interstitial lattice diffusion, a diffusant (such as C in an iron alloy), will diffuse in between the lattice structure of another crystalline element. In substitutional lattice diffusion (self-diffusion for example), the atom can only move by substituting place with another atom. Substitutional lattice diffusion is often contingent upon the availability of point vacancies throughout the crystal lattice. Diffusing particles migrate from point vacancy to point vacancy by the rapid, essentially random jumping about (jump diffusion). Since the prevalence of point vacancies increases in accordance with the Arrhenius equation, the rate of crystal solid state diffusion increases with temperature. For a single atom in a defect-free crystal, the movement can be described by the "random walk" model.

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  1. ^ P. Heitjans, J. Karger, Ed, “Diffusion in condensed matter: Methods, Materials, Models,” 2nd edition, Birkhauser, 2005, pp. 1-965.

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