, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 15–19 | Cite as

The discovery and acceptance of the Kirkendall Effect: The result of a short research career

  • Hideo Nakajima
Features Historigal Insight


In the 1940s, it was a common belief that atomic diffusion took place via a direct exchange or ring mechanism that indicated the equality of diffusion of binary elements in metals and alloys. However, Ernest Kirkendall first observed inequality in the diffusion of copper and zinc in interdiffusion between brass and copper. This article reports how Kirkendall discovered the effect, now known as the Kirkendall Effect, in his short research career.


Atomic Diffusion Direct Exchange Diffusion Anneal Vacancy Mechanism Kirkendall Effect 
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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hideo Nakajima
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research at Osaka UniversityOsakaJapan

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