Supercomputers to Speed up Development
A new groundbreaking online tool, called the Materials Project, launched yesterday to enable scientists and engineers to accelerate the development of new materials. Created by researchers from the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Lawrence Berkley National laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the tool will act as a “Google” of material properties.
“By accelerating the development of new materials, we can drive discoveries that not only help power clean energy, but also are used in common consumer products,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “This research tool will help the United States compete with other developers of new materials, and could potentially create new domestic industries.”
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The Materials Project will allow researchers to use “supercomputers” to find the characterization of inorganic compounds, such as their stability, voltage, capacity and oxidation state. Thus far, the database already contains the property information of over 15,000 inorganic compounds, but hundreds more are being added by the day.
"Materials innovation today is largely done by intuition, which is based on the experience of single investigators," says Kristin Persson, co-founder of the Materials Project. "The lack of comprehensive knowledge of materials, organized for easy analysis and rational design, is one of the foremost reasons for the long process time in materials discovery."
The tool will enable companies to improve materials, such as stronger, corrosion-resistant lightweight aluminum alloys that could produce lighter weight cars and aircraft.