grain boundary (rus. межзеренная граница) — an interface between two differently oriented grains in a polycrystalline solid.


Many physical properties of solids (electrical, mechanical, magnetic) depend on the number and structure of grain boundaries. Close to such boundaries most of the physical processes (mainly related to appearance or disappearance of defects in solids) proceed differently than in the bulk of the grains; thus, emergence of new phases, initiation and development of cracks, diffusion mass transfer, etc. proceed more easily on the grain boundaries. The mobility of grain boundaries determines the kinetics of recrystallisation and phase transitions in heterostructures(see also sintering of nanoceramics).

The grain boundary area, whose width may range from several dozens to several hundreds of atomic layers, differs from the bulk of the grain in structure and composition. The grain boundaries are often considered areas of mutual penetration of crystal lattices of neighbouring grains (alternating sections of defect-free elastic lattice couplings and imperfect dislocations). Interphase boundaries, for example, the boundary between the substrate and epitaxial film can also be described in terms of grain boundaries.


  • Zhuravleva Natalya G.
  • Shlyakhtin Oleg A.


  1. Intragranular boundaries// Physical encyclopedia (in Russian). V. 3 / Ed by A. M. Prohorov. — Moscow.: Bol'shaja Rossijjskaja ehnciklopedija, 1992. 87 pp.
  2. VIEPS // Mainz Deformation Microstructures Course. — (reference date: 16.08.2010).

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