As the length-scale of polycrystalline and thin film systems is reduced to the nanometer range, interfaces become even more critical in defining the material properties. The general field of interfaces includes grain boundaries (interfaces between crystals of the same phase), solid-solid phase boundaries, solid-liquid interfaces, and free surfaces.
Modern interface science deals with issues such as:
- Interface segregation and surface adsorption;
- Atomistic reconstruction at interfaces and surfaces;
- Interface diffusion;
- Wetting and spreading;
- The atomistic structure and chemistry of interfaces;
- Grain boundary mobility and evolving microstructures.