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  1. Abstract

    Despite the machine learning (ML) methods have been largely used recently, the predicted materials properties usually cannot exceed the range of original training data. We deployed a boundless objective-free exploration approach to combine traditional ML and density functional theory (DFT) in searching extreme material properties. This combination not only improves the efficiency for screening large-scale materials with minimal DFT inquiry, but also yields properties beyond original training range. We use Stein novelty to recommend outliers and then verify using DFT. Validated data are then added into the training dataset for next round iteration. We test the loop of training-recommendation-validation in mechanical property space. By screening 85,707 crystal structures, we identify 21 ultrahigh hardness structures and 11 negative Poisson’s ratio structures. The algorithm is very promising for future materials discovery that can push materials properties to the limit with minimal DFT calculations on only ~1% of the structures in the screening pool.

  2. Abstract Driven by the big data science, material informatics has attracted enormous research interests recently along with many recognized achievements. To acquire knowledge of materials by previous experience, both feature descriptors and databases are essential for training machine learning (ML) models with high accuracy. In this regard, the electronic charge density ρ ( r ), which in principle determines the properties of materials at their ground state, can be considered as one of the most appropriate descriptors. However, the systematic electronic charge density ρ ( r ) database of inorganic materials is still in its infancy due to the difficulties in collecting raw data in experiment and the expensive first-principles based computational cost in theory. Herein, a real space electronic charge density ρ ( r ) database of 17,418 cubic inorganic materials is constructed by performing high-throughput density functional theory calculations. The displayed ρ ( r ) patterns show good agreements with those reported in previous studies, which validates our computations. Further statistical analysis reveals that it possesses abundant and diverse data, which could accelerate ρ ( r ) related machine learning studies. Moreover, the electronic charge density database will also assists chemical bonding identifications and promotes new crystal discoverymore »in experiments.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 28, 2023
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 14, 2023
  5. Zintl phase Mg 3 Sb 2 , which has ultra-low thermal conductivity, is a promising anisotropic thermoelectric material. It is worth noting that the prediction and experiment value of lattice thermal conductivity ( κ ) maintain a remarkable difference, troubling the development and application. Thus, we firstly included the four-phonon scattering processes effect and performed the Peierls–Boltzmann transport equation (PBTE) combined with the first-principles lattice dynamics to study the lattice thermal transport in Mg 3 Sb 2 . The results showed that our theoretically predicted κ is consistent with the experimentally measured, breaking through the limitations of the traditional calculation methods. The prominent four-phonon scatterings decreased phonon lifetime, leading to the κ of Mg 3 Sb 2 at 300 K from 2.45 (2.58) W m −1 K −1 to 1.94 (2.19) W m −1 K −1 along the in (cross)-plane directions, respectively, and calculation accuracy increased by 20%. This study successfully explains the lattice thermal transport behind mechanism in Mg 3 Sb 2 and implies guidance to advance the prediction accuracy of thermoelectric materials.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 14, 2023
  6. The success of graphene created a new era in materials science, especially for two-dimensional (2D) materials. 2D single-crystal carbon nitride (C 3 N) is the first and only crystalline, hole-free, single-layer carbon nitride and its controlled large-scale synthesis has recently attracted tremendous interest in thermal transport. Here, we performed a comparative study of thermal transport between monolayer C 3 N and the parent graphene, and focused on the effect of temperature and strain on the thermal conductivity ( κ ) of C 3 N, by solving the phonon Boltzmann transport equation (BTE) based on first-principles calculations. The κ of C 3 N shows an anomalous temperature dependence, and the κ of C 3 N at high temperatures is larger than the expected value following the common trend of κ ∼ 1/ T . Moreover, the κ of C 3 N is found to be increased by applying a bilateral tensile strain, despite its similar planar honeycomb structure to graphene. The underlying mechanism is revealed by providing direct evidence for the interaction between lone-pair N-s electrons and bonding electrons from C atoms in C 3 N based on the analysis of orbital-projected electronic structures and electron localization function (ELF). Our researchmore »not only conduct a comprehensive study on the thermal transport in graphene-like C 3 N, but also reveal the physical origin of its anomalous properties, which would have significant implications on the future studies of nanoscale thermal transport.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 25, 2023
  7. The two-dimensional (2D) materials, represented by graphene, stand out in the electrical industry applications of the future and have been widely studied. As commonly existing in electronic devices, the electric field has been extensively utilized to modulate the performance. However, how the electric field regulates thermal transport is rarely studied. Herein, we investigate the modulation of thermal transport properties by applying an external electric field ranging from 0 to 0.4 V Å −1 , with bilayer graphene, monolayer silicene, and germanene as study cases. The monotonically decreasing trend of thermal conductivity in all three materials is revealed. A significant effect on the scattering rate is found to be responsible for the decreased thermal conductivity driven by the electric field. Further evidence shows that the reconstruction of internal electric field and generation of induced charges lead to increased scattering rate from strong phonon anharmonicity. Thus, the ultralow thermal conductivity emerges with the application of external electric fields. Applying an external electric field to regulate thermal conductivity illustrates a constructive idea for highly efficient thermal management.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 27, 2023
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 25, 2023
  9. The Mg 3 Sb 2− x Bi x family has emerged as the potential candidates for thermoelectric applications due to their ultra-low lattice thermal conductivity ( κ L ) at room temperature (RT) and structural complexity. Here, using ab initio calculations of the electron-phonon averaged (EPA) approximation coupled with Boltzmann transport equation (BTE), we have studied electronic, phonon and thermoelectric properties of Mg 3 Sb 2− x Bi x (x = 0, 1, and 2) monolayers. In violation of common mass-trend expectations, increasing Bi element content with heavier Zintl phase compounds yields an abnormal change in κ L in two-dimensional Mg 3 Sb 2− x Bi x crystals at RT (∼0.51, 1.86, and 0.25 W/mK for Mg 3 Sb 2 , Mg 3 SbBi, and Mg 3 Bi 2 ). The κ L trend was detailedly analyzed via the phonon heat capacity, group velocity and lifetime parameters. Based on quantitative electronic band structures, the electronic bonding through the crystal orbital Hamilton population (COHP) and electron local function analysis we reveal the underlying mechanism for the semiconductor-semimetallic transition of Mg 3 Sb 2-− x Bi x compounds, and these electronic transport properties (Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, and electronic thermal conductivity) were calculated.more »We demonstrate that the highest dimensionless figure of merit ZT of Mg 3 Sb 2− x Bi x compounds with increasing Bi content can reach ∼1.6, 0.2, and 0.6 at 700 K, respectively. Our results can indicate that replacing heavier anion element in Zintl phase Mg 3 Sb 2− x Bi x materials go beyond common expectations (a heavier atom always lead to a lower κ L from Slack’s theory), which provide a novel insight for regulating thermoelectric performance without restricting conventional heavy atomic mass approach.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 28, 2023
  10. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 9, 2023