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On June 24, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy highlighted the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), a public-private endeavor launched by the President which aims to cut in half the time it takes to develop novel materials that can fuel advanced manufacturing and bolster the 21st century American economy. The Materials Project – an open-access Google-like data base for materials research — was co-founded by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Project was recently awarded one of the DOE-funded MGI Centers to include several new partner institutions and broaden its scope.
The Materials Project relies on the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at the Berkeley Lab to perform high-throughput calculations and determine state-of-the-art electronic structures, as well as use novel data-mining algorithms to predict surface, defect, electronic and finite temperature properties of tens of thousands of inorganic compounds.
The project is unique in its ambition to computationally determine the properties of all known inorganic compounds, deliver the data to the Materials community, and to enable improved materials and design. The Materials Project currently features over 30,000 materials in its data base and now has over 4,000 users from industry, government and academia. What used to require days or weeks of scouring journal articles or performing custom calculations can now be achieved at the click of a mouse.
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The Group is working to identify new electrode materials for higher-energy and higher-
power batteries of the future. Materials under consideration for anodes (the negative electrode) include non-carbonaceous materials such as silicon-based compounds. For cathodes, the current focus is on high-voltage spinels and layered materials