The design of novel materials is key for innovation. Companies invest billions in the process of engineering matter into new and useful forms. Designing new materials has historically often involved fortunate accidents and plain guesswork, which can be slow and frustrating. Precious time is lost in trial and error processes.
Material properties - their density, hardness, shininess, electronic conductivity, etc. - are ultimately determined by the quantum characteristics of the atoms. The equations of quantum mechanics along with supercomputers, notably theoretical spectroscopy, are eliminating much of the guesswork in materials design. This is one of the purposes for creating the ETSF. Yet, through its open call for proposals, the ETSF can only guide investigations for a limited number of users. High-throughput simulation now tests thousands of materials at a time, quickly and efficiently looking for the best building blocks for a new material.
Materials Evolution is coordinated by martin [dot] stankovski [at] luopen [dot] lu [dot] se (Martin Stankovski) from the ETSF infrastructure node at Lund University in Sweden. Dr. Stankovski collaborates with Dr. Geoffroy Hautier, from the ETSF group at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, who is a partner in the Materials Project. An antenna of the initiative is being created in Spain by yann [dot] pouillon [at] ehu [dot] es (Yann Pouillon) from the University of the Basque Country, in Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain.