Combining the AFLOW GIBBS and elastic libraries to efficiently and robustly screen thermomechanical properties of solids

Cormac Toher, Marco Fornari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Thorough characterization of the thermomechanical properties of materials requires difficult and time-consuming experiments. This severely limits the availability of data and is one of the main obstacles for the development of effective accelerated materials design strategies. The rapid screening of new potential materials requires highly integrated, sophisticated, and robust computational approaches. We tackled the challenge by developing an automated, integrated workflow with robust error-correction within the AFLOW framework which combines the newly developed "Automatic Elasticity Library" with the previously implemented GIBBS method. The first extracts the mechanical properties from automatic self-consistent stress-strain calculations, while the latter employs those mechanical properties to evaluate the thermodynamics within the Debye model. This new thermoelastic workflow is benchmarked against a set of 74 experimentally characterized systems to pinpoint a robust computational methodology for the evaluation of bulk and shear moduli, Poisson ratios, Debye temperatures, Grüneisen parameters, and thermal conductivities of a wide variety of materials. The effect of different choices of equations of state and exchange-correlation functionals is examined and the optimum combination of properties for the Leibfried-Schlömann prediction of thermal conductivity is identified, leading to improved agreement with experimental results than the GIBBS-only approach. The framework has been applied to the data repositories to compute the thermoelastic properties of over 3500 unique materials. The results are now available online by using an expanded version of the REST-API described in the Appendix.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


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