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The kinetics of segregation of dopant solute atoms in the presence of free surfaces and interfaces are analyzed by solving the diffusion equation with a drift term. The drift term includes the configurational interaction energy associated with an oversize or an undersize atom near a coherent interface when the continuity conditions are satisfied. Both an analytical solution and a numerical procedure are provided to solve the problem by eigenfunction expansion method. A new procedure for evaluating the eigenvalues to include higher‐order terms is given. It is further established that an attractive force due to either a soft second phase or a free surface gives rise to a minimum in the concentration profile near the interface while a hard second phase results in a monotonically increasing concentration. The position of the minimum in the concentration profile in the presence of a soft second phase or the slope of the concentration profile in the presence of a hard second phase provides a measure of the strength of the defect and the interaction‐energy term which can be compared with experimental observations. In particular, we have considered changes in the dopant profiles in silicon under the influence of the free surface, in silicon with silicon dioxide, gallium arsenide, germanium, magnesium oxide and in germanium with silicon, all deposited as a second phase, respectively.