Materials Project releases new apps and data to the public

By Jodi Delapaz

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WASHINGTON, June, 16, 2016 - Berkeley Lab's Materials Project, a database of material properties available to researchers to “accelerate innovation,” recently released a large amount of data to the public, giving scientists working on fuel cells, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics and other advanced materials a heavy-duty tool to facilitate their research.

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The idea behind the Materials Project is that it can save researchers time by predicting material properties without needing to synthesize the materials first in the lab. It can also suggest new candidate materials that researchers had not previously thought of.

The Materials Project also provides online tools to search all that data. The recent release includes two new web apps - the Molecules Explorer and the Redox Flow Battery Dashboard -- plus an add-on to the Battery Explorer web app that allows researchers to work with other ions in addition to commonly-used lithium. The database has been a particularly important resource for researchers working on batteries, Berkeley Lab says.

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Berkeley Lab says that project has attracted more than 20,000 users since being launched five years ago.

“The Materials Project has enabled some of the most exciting research in my group,” says Dane Morgan, a professor of engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who also serves on the Materials Project's advisory board. Morgan develops new materials for a wide range of applications, including fuel cell and solar materials. “By providing easy access to a huge database, as well as tools to process that data for thermodynamic predictions, the Materials Project has enabled my group to rapidly take on materials design projects that would have been prohibitive just a few years ago.”

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