Minute quantities of impurities present in a material can have a major influence on the mechanical, chemical, or electrical properties of materials when they are segregated in localized regions. Since grain boundaries are often the preferred regions for segregation, it is not surprising that the properties of grain boundaries differ from the bulk resulting in such phenomena as intergranular fracture and intergranular corrosion. The objectives of this paper are to demonstrate the usefulness of Auger spectroscopy in determining segregation, the role of segregation in the deterioration of properties, and to discuss our present understanding of the mechanisms for segregation.
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