Existence of weak solutions is proved for a phase field model describing an interface in an elastically deformable solid, which moves by diffusion of atoms along the interface. The volume of the different regions separated by the interface is conserved, since no exchange of atoms across the interface occurs. The diffusion is driven only by reduction of the bulk free energy. The evolution of the order parameter in this model is governed by a degenerate parabolic fourth-order equation. If a regularizing parameter in this equation tends to zero, then solutions tend to solutions of a sharp interface model for interface diffusion. The existence proof is valid only for a 1½-dimensional situation.
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