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Defect in a Defect

Hierarchy of Defects
Part of & AALearner’s
Anandh Subramaniam & Kantesh Balani
Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur- 208016
Email:, URL:
Defect in a Defect!

 This is an interesting concept to explore.

 We will consider some examples to explore this concept.
 0D
◘ Vacancy is a point defect. Vacancies can get ordered to form Vacancy Ordered
◘ There could be point defect in the Vacancy sublattice → an atom present where
a vacancy should have been there (Atom is a defect in the vacancy sublattice!)
→ this is a defect in a defect!
 1D
◘ Dislocation is a defect.
◘ A kink or a jog is a defect in the dislocation line → a defect in a defect.
 2D
◘ Surface is a defect.
◘ Defect in a defect → Steps in a surface is a defect in the surface.
◘ Defect in a defect in a defect → Steps in these steps is a defect in the steps
0D In a Vacancy Ordered Phase (VOP) there could be a vacancy in the
‘vacancy sublattice’ → this is an atom!
 we can conceive such a hierarchy of ‘higher order’ defects!

Vacancy in the vacancy

Perfect Ordered sublattice → i.e. an atom!

Vacancy Ordered Phase


We can even further visualize things like a kink in the jog!


ce in
rfa ct
su efe
D Defect in the
Hierarchy of Defects

 This is another interesting concept

 We will try to understand this using the example of VOP
 We have seen that an atom is a defect in the vacancy sublattice of the VOP.
 These atoms could be randomly present in the vacancy sublattice or be ordered
in the sublattice to give a sub-sublattice
 A defect in this atom sub-sublattice of the vacancy sublattice is again a vacancy!
 This process of formation of defects in ‘sub’, ‘sub-sub’ … can be carried forward
and we can conceptualize this hierarchy of defects!