Computer model predicts how materials meet in the middle

Mar 16, 2010 By Colin Smith and Lucy Goodchild
Computer model predicts how materials meet in the middle

(PhysOrg.com) -- Predicting the way different materials fuse together at an atomic level in objects including iPods, computer chips and even ships may be possible using a new computer model, described in the March issue of Nature Materials.

The authors of the study, from Imperial College London, say their new approach could help engineers understand and work out in advance how materials might behave. This could help them to design better materials with improved properties such as strength, flexibility or .

When two different crystalline materials, such as metals or ceramics, are joined together, there is an interface between them where individual atoms have to arrange themselves into certain positions. The chemical composition of this interfacial region may also be different from that of either crystal. The structure and composition of the interface can have a significant impact on the overall properties of the material.

In this video, the researchers behind the new model, Professor Adrian Sutton, from the Department of Physics, and Professor Mike Finnis, from the Departments of Materials and Physics, talk about interfaces, the computational approach they have developed and why this is a major breakthrough in materials research.

Explore further: World's most complex crystal simulated

More information: “A genetic algorithm for predicting the structures of interfaces in multicomponent systems” Nature Materials, corrected online 4 March 2010. Corresponding author: Professor Adrian Sutton, Imperial College London. A link to the paper is available here.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Model simulates atomic processes in nanomaterials

Mar 01, 2007

Researchers from MIT, Georgia Institute of Technology and Ohio State University have developed a new computer modeling approach to study how materials behave under stress at the atomic level, offering insights that could ...

Recommended for you

Finding faster-than-light particles by weighing them

Dec 26, 2014

In a new paper accepted by the journal Astroparticle Physics, Robert Ehrlich, a recently retired physicist from George Mason University, claims that the neutrino is very likely a tachyon or faster-than-light par ...

Controlling core switching in Pac-man disks

Dec 24, 2014

Magnetic vortices in thin films can encode information in the perpendicular magnetization pointing up or down relative to the vortex core. These binary states could be useful for non-volatile data storage ...

World's most complex crystal simulated

Dec 24, 2014

The most complicated crystal structure ever produced in a computer simulation has been achieved by researchers at the University of Michigan. They say the findings help demonstrate how complexity can emerge ...

Atoms queue up for quantum computer networks

Dec 24, 2014

In order to develop future quantum computer networks, it is necessary to hold a known number of atoms and read them without them disappearing. To do this, researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute have developed ...

New video supports radiation dosimetry audits

Dec 23, 2014

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL), working with the National Radiotherapy Trials Quality Assurance Group, has produced a video guide to support physicists participating in radiation dosimetry audits.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.