Supersaturated Cu-3 at.% Ag alloy was processed by rolling at liquid nitrogen temperature and subsequent annealing at 623 K up to 20 min. It was found that after annealing, an inhomogeneous solute atom distribution developed, since the Ag particles with small size and/or large specific interfacial energy were dissolved due to the Gibbs-Thomson effect. In the region where the solute concentration increased, a high dislocation density was retained in the Cu matrix even after annealing, while in the region where the Ag solute content did not increase, the dislocation density decreased by more than one order of magnitude. Therefore, in the cryorolled and annealed samples, heterogeneous microstructures were developed where both the dislocation density and the solute concentration varied considerably. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.