Encapsulation by segregation - A multifaceted approach to gold segregation in iron particles on sapphire

Dor Amram, Yaron Amouyal, Eugen Rabkin, Amouyal Yaron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Solute segregation plays a key role in a broad range of phenomena in multiphase materials containing a high density of interfaces, yet the diverse nature of these interfaces makes quantifying and predicting segregation a difficult task. Here we report on the simultaneous segregation of Au atoms to four different interfaces in Fe/Au particles on sapphire - two distinct metal surfaces, a metal-ceramic interface, and a metal-metal grain boundary - resulting in their complete encapsulation. We accessed all of these interfaces simultaneously and found substantial differences in their segregation behavior. The metal-ceramic interface exhibited the strongest segregation tendency, followed by the two surfaces, and the grain boundary. The results were analyzed quantitatively by combining experimental, theoretical and ab-initio computational methods, leading to new synergetic insights into such systems. We then demonstrated how segregation can be directly employed to design the morphology and properties of thermodynamically-stable nanoparticles and thin films.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-351
Number of pages10
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Density functional theory (DFT)
  • Interfacial segregation
  • Particles
  • Segregation
  • Surface energy (anisotropy)

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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