(40e) Combining Density Functional Theory Calculations, Supercomputing, and Data-Driven Methods to Design New Thermoelectric Materials

Authors: 
Jain, A., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aydemir, U., Northwestern University
Ceder, G., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Persson, K., Lawrence Berkeley Lab
Snyder, G. J., Caltech
Density functional theory (DFT) simulations solve for the electronic structure of materials starting from the Schrödinger equation. Many case studies have now demonstrated that researchers can often use DFT to design new compounds in the computer (e.g., for batteries, catalysts, and hydrogen storage) before synthesis and characterization in the lab. In this talk, I will focus on how DFT calculations can be executed on large supercomputing resources in order to generate very large data sets on new materials for functional applications. First, I will briefly describe the Materials Project, an effort at LBNL that has virtually characterized over 60,000 materials using DFT and has shared the results with over 17,000 registered users. Next, I will talk about how such data can help discover new materials, describing how preliminary computational screening led to the identification and confirmation of a new family of bulk AMX2 thermoelectric compounds with measured zT reaching 0.8. I will outline future plans for how such data-driven methods can be used to better understand the factors that control thermoelectric behavior, e.g., for the rational design of electronic band structures, in ways that are different from conventional approaches.