Professional Course

Microstructural Evolution of Materials Part 2: Defects and Diffusion

edX, Online
5 weeks
49 USD
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Start anytime See details
Self-paced Online
5 weeks
49 USD
Next course start
Start anytime See details
Self-paced Online
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Course description

Microstructural Evolution of Materials Part 2: Defects and Diffusion

This module is Part 2 of a four-part series on the Microstructural Evolution in Materials. Taken together, these four modules provide similar content to the MIT Course 3.022: Microstructural Evolution of Materials.

This series introduces various kinetic phenomena in various classes of materials. The course explains how materials develop different microstructure based on different processing techniques, and it relates these microstructures to the properties of the material.

Microstructural Evolution of Materials is intended for engineering and science students and professionals with an interest in materials statistics, kinetics, and microstructural transformations.

Part 1 of the course will introduce important concepts in statistical mechanics that are especially relevant to materials scientists. Topics include solid solutions, the canonical ensemble and heat capacity.

Part 2 of the course focuses on point defect evolution, including diffusion, substitutional diffusion, ionic defects, and ionic conductivity.

Part 3 of the course discusses surfaces and surface-driven reactions. Topics include surface energy, faceted and non-faceted growth, and growth and ripening.

Part 4 of the course focuses on phase transformations, including nucleation and growth, precipitate growth, interface stability, and glass transition.

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  • Self-paced Online
  • Online
  • English

Who should attend?



  • Fick’s First Law of Diffusion
  • The Diffusion Coefficient
  • Fick’s Second Law of Diffusion
  • Analytic Solutions to Fick’s Second Law

Diffusion Examples

  • Example #1: Meat Processing
  • Example #2: Doping of Semiconductors
  • Example #3: Chemical Strengthening of Glass


  • Kinetics of Substitutional Self-Diffusion
  • Example: Substitutional Self-Diffusion in Gold

Substitutional Diffusion

  • Vacancy Diffusion
  • Vacancy Sources and Sinks
  • Kirkendall Effect
  • Motion of Crystal Planes
  • Interdiffusion in Ionic Solids

Ionic Defects & Defect Reactions

  • Types of Point Defects
  • Kröger-Vink Notation
  • Defect Reactions
  • Equilibrium Constant for Defect Reaction
  • Charge Compensation in Ionic Solids
  • Charge Compensation in Non-Stoichiometric Solids

The Brouwer Approximation

  • Introduction to the Brouwer Approximation
  • Brouwer Diagrams
  • F-Centers

Ionic Conductivity

  • An Introduction to Ionic Conductivity
  • Applications of Ionic Conductors

Course delivery details

This course is offered through Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a partner institute of EdX.

8-10 hours per week


  • Verified Track -$49
  • Audit Track - Free

Certification / Credits

What you'll learn

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the microscopic mechanisms that govern diffusion
  • Explain how ion exchange can be used to chemically strengthen glass
  • Predict the charge carrier concentration in various charge compensation regimes using the Brouwer approximation

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