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This work reports for the first time on the use of the open photoacoustic cell technique operating at very low frequencies and at room temperature to experimentally determine the thermal diffusivity parameter of commercial AISI304 stainless steel and AISI304 stainless steel nitrided samples. Complementary measurements of X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy were also performed. The results show that in standard AISI 304 stainless steel samples the thermal diffusivity is (4.0 ± 0.3) × 10-6 m2/s. After the nitriding process, the thermal diffusivity increases to the value (7.1 ± 0.5) × 10-6 m2/s. The results are being associated to the diffusion process of nitrogen into the surface of the sample. Carrying out subsequent thermal treatment at 500 °C, the thermal diffusivity increases up to (12.0 ± 2) × 10-6 m2/s. Now the observed growing in the thermal diffusivity must be related to the change in the phases contained in the nitrided layer.