Hardened concrete is a three-phase composite consisting of cement paste, aggregate and interface between cement paste and aggregate. The interface in concrete plays a key role on the overall performance of concrete. The interface properties such as deformation, strength, fracture energy, stress intensity and its influence on stiffness and ductility of concrete have been investigated. The effect of composition of cement, surface characteristics of aggregate and type of loading have been studied. The load-deflection response is linear showing that the linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) is applicable to characterize interface. The crack deformation increases with large rough aggregate surfaces. The strength of interface increases with the richness of concrete mix. The interface fracture energy increases as the roughness of the aggregate surface increases. The interface energy under mode II loading increases with the orientation of aggregate surface with the direction of loading. The chemical reaction between smooth aggregate surface and the cement paste seems to improve the interface energy. The ductility of concrete decreases as the surface area of the strong interface increases. The fracture toughness (stress intensity factor) of the interface seems to be very low, compared with hardened cement paste, mortar and concrete. © 2011 Indian Academy of Sciences.