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  1. Data-driven interatomic potentials (IPs) trained on large collections of first principles calculations are rapidly becoming essential tools in the fields of computational materials science and chemistry for performing atomic-scale simulations. Despite this, apart from a few notable exceptions, there is a distinct lack of well-organized, public datasets in common formats available for use with IP development. This deficiency precludes the research community from implementing widespread benchmarking, which is essential for gaining insight into model performance and transferability, and also limits the development of more general, or even universal, IPs. To address this issue, we introduce the ColabFit Exchange, the first database providing open access to a large collection of systematically organized datasets from multiple domains that is especially designed for IP development. The ColabFit Exchange is publicly available at, providing a web-based interface for exploring, downloading, and contributing datasets. Composed of data collected from the literature or provided by community researchers, the ColabFit Exchange currently (September 2023) consists of 139 datasets spanning nearly 70 000 unique chemistries, and is intended to continuously grow. In addition to outlining the software framework used for constructing and accessing the ColabFit Exchange, we also provide analyses of the data, quantifying the diversity of the database and proposing metrics for assessing the relative diversity of multiple datasets. Finally, we demonstrate an end-to-end IP development pipeline, utilizing datasets from the ColabFit Exchange, fitting tools from the KLIFF software package, and validation tests provided by the OpenKIM framework.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 21, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 14, 2024
  3. Abstract Twisted 2D materials form complex moiré structures that spontaneously reduce symmetry through picoscale deformation within a mesoscale lattice. We show twisted 2D materials contain a torsional displacement field comprised of three transverse periodic lattice distortions (PLD). The torsional PLD amplitude provides a single order parameter that concisely describes the structural complexity of twisted bilayer moirés. Moreover, the structure and amplitude of a torsional periodic lattice distortion is quantifiable using rudimentary electron diffraction methods sensitive to reciprocal space. In twisted bilayer graphene, the torsional PLD begins to form at angles below 3.89° and the amplitude reaches 8 pm around the magic angle of 1. 1°. At extremely low twist angles (e.g. below 0.25°) the amplitude increases and additional PLD harmonics arise to expand Bernal stacked domains separated by well defined solitonic boundaries. The torsional distortion field in twisted bilayer graphene is analytically described and has an upper bound of 22.6 pm. Similar torsional distortions are observed in twisted WS 2 , CrI 3 , and WSe 2 /MoSe 2 . 
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  4. In this paper, we consider the problem of quantifying parametric uncertainty in classical empirical interatomic potentials (IPs) using both Bayesian (Markov Chain Monte Carlo) and frequentist (profile likelihood) methods. We interface these tools with the Open Knowledgebase of Interatomic Models and study three models based on the Lennard-Jones, Morse, and Stillinger–Weber potentials. We confirm that IPs are typically sloppy, i.e., insensitive to coordinated changes in some parameter combinations. Because the inverse problem in such models is ill-conditioned, parameters are unidentifiable. This presents challenges for traditional statistical methods, as we demonstrate and interpret within both Bayesian and frequentist frameworks. We use information geometry to illuminate the underlying cause of this phenomenon and show that IPs have global properties similar to those of sloppy models from fields, such as systems biology, power systems, and critical phenomena. IPs correspond to bounded manifolds with a hierarchy of widths, leading to low effective dimensionality in the model. We show how information geometry can motivate new, natural parameterizations that improve the stability and interpretation of uncertainty quantification analysis and further suggest simplified, less-sloppy models. 
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  5. For decades, atomistic modeling has played a crucial role in predicting the behavior of materials in numerous fields ranging from nanotechnology to drug discovery. The most accurate methods in this domain are rooted in first-principles quantum mechanical calculations such as density functional theory (DFT). Because these methods have remained computationally prohibitive, practitioners have traditionally focused on defining physically motivated closed-form expressions known as empirical interatomic potentials (EIPs) that approximately model the interactions between atoms in materials. In recent years, neural network (NN)-based potentials trained on quantum mechanical (DFT-labeled) data have emerged as a more accurate alternative to conventional EIPs. However, the generalizability of these models relies heavily on the amount of labeled training data, which is often still insufficient to generate models suitable for general-purpose applications. In this paper, we propose two generic strategies that take advantage of unlabeled training instances to inject domain knowledge from conventional EIPs to NNs in order to increase their generalizability. The first strategy, based on weakly supervised learning, trains an auxiliary classifier on EIPs and selects the best-performing EIP to generate energies to supplement the ground-truth DFT energies in training the NN. The second strategy, based on transfer learning, first pretrains the NN on a large set of easily obtainable EIP energies, and then fine-tunes it on ground-truth DFT energies. Experimental results on three benchmark datasets demonstrate that the first strategy improves baseline NN performance by 5% to 51% while the second improves baseline performance by up to 55%. Combining them further boosts performance. 
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  6. null (Ed.)
    Key properties of two-dimensional (2D) layered materials are highly strain tunable, arising from bond modulation and associated reconfiguration of the energy bands around the Fermi level. Approaches to locally controlling and patterning strain have included both active and passive elastic deformation via sustained loading and templating with nanostructures. Here, by float-capturing ultrathin flakes of single-crystal 2H-MoS2 on amorphous holey silicon nitride substrates, we find that highly symmetric, high-fidelity strain patterns are formed. The hexagonally arranged holes and surface topography combine to generate highly conformal flake-substrate coverage creating patterns that match optimal centroidal Voronoi tessellation in 2D Euclidean space. Using TEM imaging and diffraction, as well as AFM topographic mapping, we determine that the substrate-driven 3D geometry of the flakes over the holes consists of symmetric, out-of-plane bowl-like deformation of up to 35 nm, with in-plane, isotropic tensile strains of up to 1.8% (measured with both selected-area diffraction and AFM). Atomistic and image simulations accurately predict spontaneous formation of the strain patterns, with van der Waals forces and substrate topography as the input parameters. These results show that predictable patterns and 3D topography can be spontaneously induced in 2D materials captured on bare, holey substrates. The method also enables electron scattering studies of precisely aligned, substrate-free strained regions in transmission mode. 
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