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  1. Abstract

    The Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) advanced a new paradigm for materials discovery and design, namely that the pace of new materials deployment could be accelerated through complementary efforts in theory, computation, and experiment. Along with numerous successes, new challenges are inviting researchers to refocus the efforts and approaches that were originally inspired by the MGI. In May 2017, the National Science Foundation sponsored the workshop “Advancing and Accelerating Materials Innovation Through the Synergistic Interaction among Computation, Experiment, and Theory: Opening New Frontiers” to review accomplishments that emerged from investments in science and infrastructure under the MGI, identify scientific opportunities in this new environment, examine how to effectively utilize new materials innovation infrastructure, and discuss challenges in achieving accelerated materials research through the seamless integration of experiment, computation, and theory. This article summarizes key findings from the workshop and provides perspectives that aim to guide the direction of future materials research and its translation into societal impacts.

  2. Abstract

    Carrier concentration optimization has been an enduring challenge when developing newly discovered semiconductors for applications (e.g., thermoelectrics, transparent conductors, photovoltaics). This barrier has been particularly pernicious in the realm of high-throughput property prediction, where the carrier concentration is often assumed to be a free parameter and the limits are not predicted due to the high computational cost. In this work, we explore the application of machine learning for high-throughput carrier concentration range prediction. Bounding the model within diamond-like semiconductors, the learning set was developed from experimental carrier concentration data on 127 compounds ranging from unary to quaternary. The data were analyzed using various statistical and machine learning methods. Accurate predictions of carrier concentration ranges in diamond-like semiconductors are made within approximately one order of magnitude on average across bothp- andn-type dopability. The model fit to empirical data is analyzed to understand what drives trends in carrier concentration and compared with previous computational efforts. Finally, dopability predictions from this model are combined with high-throughput quality factor predictions to identify promising thermoelectric materials.

  3. Germanium telluride is a high performing thermoelectric material that additionally serves as a base for alloys such as GeTe–AgSbTe 2 and GeTe–PbTe. Such performance motivates exploration of other GeTe alloys in order understand the impact of site substitution on electron and phonon transport. In this work, we consider the root causes of the high thermoelectric performance material Ge 1− x Mn x Te. Along this alloy line, the crystal structure, electronic band structure, and electron and phonon scattering all depend heavily on the Mn content. Structural analysis of special quasirandom alloy structures indicate the thermodynamic stability of the rock salt phase over the rhombohedral phase with increased Mn incorporation. Effective band structure calculations indicate band convergence, the emergence of new valence band maxima, and strong smearing at the band edge with increased Mn content in both phases. High temperature measurements on bulk polycrystalline samples show a reduction in hole mobility and a dramatic increase in effective mass with respect to increasing Mn content. In contrast, synthesis as a function of tellurium chemical potential does not significantly impact electronic properties. Thermal conductivity shows a minimum near the rhombohedral to cubic phase transition, while the Mn Ge point defect scattering is weakmore »as indicated by the low K L dependence on the Ge–Mn fraction (Fig. 10). From this work, alloys near this phase transition show optimal performance due to low thermal conductivity, moderate effective mass, and low scattering rates compared to Mn-rich compositions.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 10, 2023
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 28, 2023
  5. Diamond like semiconductors (DLS) have emerged as candidates for thermoelectric energy conversion. Towards understanding and optimizing performance, we present a comprehensive investigation of the electronic properties of two DLS phases, quaternary Cu 2 HgGeTe 4 and related ordered vacancy compound Hg 2 GeTe 4 , including thermodynamic stability, defect chemistry, and transport properties. To establish the thermodynamic link between the related but distinct phases, the stability region for both is visualized in chemical potential space. In spite of their similar structure and bonding, we show that the two materials exhibit reciprocal behaviors for dopability. Cu 2 HgGeTe 4 is degenerately p-type in all environments despite its wide stability region, due to the presence of low-energy acceptor defects V Cu and Cu Hg and is resistant to extrinsic n-type doping. Meanwhile Hg 2 GeTe 4 has a narrow stability region and intrinsic behavior due to the relatively high formation energy of native defects, but presents an opportunity for bi-polar doping. While these two compounds have similar structure, bonding, and chemical constituents, the reciprocal nature of their dopability emerges from significant differences in band edge positions. A Brouwer band diagram approach is utilized to visualize the role of native defects on carriermore »concentrations, dopability, and transport properties. This study elucidates the doping asymmetry between two solid-solution forming DLS phases Cu 2 HgGeTe 4 and Hg 2 GeTe 4 by revealing the defect chemistry of each compound, and suggests design strategies for defect engineering of DLS phases.« less
  6. Mg 3 Sb 2 –Mg 3 Bi 2 alloys have been heavily studied as a competitive alternative to the state-of-the-art n-type Bi 2 (Te,Se) 3 thermoelectric alloys. Using Mg 3 As 2 alloying, we examine another dimension of exploration in Mg 3 Sb 2 –Mg 3 Bi 2 alloys and the possibility of further improvement of thermoelectric performance was investigated. While the crystal structure of pure Mg 3 As 2 is different from Mg 3 Sb 2 and Mg 3 Bi 2 , at least 15% arsenic solubility on the anion site (Mg 3 ((Sb 0.5 Bi 0.5 ) 1−x As x ) 2 : x = 0.15) was confirmed. Density functional theory calculations showed the possibility of band convergence by alloying Mg 3 Sb 2 –Mg 3 Bi 2 with Mg 3 As 2 . Because of only a small detrimental effect on the charge carrier mobility compared to cation site substitution, the As 5% alloyed sample showed zT = 0.6–1.0 from 350 K to 600 K. This study shows that there is an even larger composition space to examine for the optimization of material properties by considering arsenic introduction into the Mg 3 Sb 2 –Mg 3 Bimore »2 system.« less