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Infrastructure and Consumer Goods

In addition to the three sectors discussed previously, there are myriad other technology and infrastructure applications that contribute to the Nation’s economic prosperity and continue to necessitate development of new materials. For example, longer-lasting, safer bridges and roadways may be enabled by advances in concrete designs. The next generation of cell phones could be built using flexible, solarpowered materials. Advanced optical fibers could one day provide even faster internet access. These applications and many more disruptive technologies not yet envisioned may be possible with the discoveries and new applications accelerated by MGI. Ultimately, deployment of materials into massproduced consumer goods should be done with attention paid to the safety, disposal, and possible reuse of the materials.

The Brilliance of Diamonds

In 2013, Argonne National Laboratory and AKHAN Semiconductors together developed diamond-based semiconductor technologies that have now been licensed to AKHAN. This public-private partnership resulted in advanced manufacturing capabilities that will result in accelerated deployment of diamond-based materials to the market. Argonne developed a nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) deposition technology that lowers the cost of diamond thin films. AKHAN developed a doping process that can more efficiently transforms diamond into a semi-conductor.

Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP)

The Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) is a DOE Energy Innovation Hub.  One of its focus areas is accelerated discovery of materials that can use sunlight to generate hydrogen from water.  JCAP uses high-throughput experimentation to characterize promising materials, and maintains a publicly available, online database of materials characterized to date.

PRedictive Integrated Structural Materials Science (PRISMS) Center

At the PRISMS Center integration drives everything we do. Our science is integrated with our computational codes and with the results from our experimentalists who identify new phenomena and fill in missing details. Our Materials Commons repository allows groups to collaborate and share data and provide it to the broader technical community. And our computational software is seamlessly integrating the latest multi-length scale scientific software into open source codes.

Center for Hierarchical Materials Design (CHiMaD)

Center for Hierarchical Materials Design (CHiMaD) is a NIST-sponsored center of excellence for advanced materials research focusing on developing the next generation of computational tools, databases and experimental techniques in order to enable the accelerated design of novel materials and their integration to industry, one of the primary goals of the Obama administration’s Materials Genome Initiative (MGI).

Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative: Managing the Mosaic of Microstructure

The ability to digitally design materials with microstructures optimized to achieve desired properties, is one of the long term goals of the materials field. Simulation-based materials design has the potential to dramatically reduce the need for expensive down-stream characterization and testing. However, this requires reliable algorithms and methodologies that incorporate variability and uncertainty in the design process, and are validated against physics-based models and experiments.

Center for Theoretical and Computational Materials Science (CTCMS)


The Center's mission is to support the Material Measurement Laboratory's mission in materials measurement and data delivery by:

  • developing, solving, and quantifying materials models using state-of-the-art computational approaches;
  • creating opportunities for collaboration where CTCMS can make a positive difference by virtue of its structure, focus, and people;
  • developing powerful new tools for materials theory and modeling and accelerating their integration into industrial research.