Discovering novel, multicomponent crystalline materials is a complex task owing to the large space of feasible structures. Here we demonstrate a method to significantly accelerate materials discovery by using a machine learning (ML) model trained on density functional theory (DFT) data from the Open Quantum Materials Database (OQMD). Our ML model predicts the stability of a material based on its crystal structure and chemical composition, and we illustrate the effectiveness of the method by application to finding new quaternary Heusler (QH) compounds. Our ML-based approach can find new stable materials at a rate 30 times faster than undirected searches and we use it to predict 55 previously unknown, stable QH compounds. We find the accuracy of our ML model is higher when trained using the diversity of crystal structures available in the OQMD than when training on well-curated datasets which contain only a single family of crystal structures (i.e., QHs). The advantage of using diverse training data shows how large datasets, such as OQMD, are particularly valuable for materials discovery and that we need not train separate ML models to predict each different family of crystal structures. Compared to other proposed ML approaches, we find that our method performs best for small (<103) and large (>105) training set sizes. The excellent flexibility and accuracy of the approach presented here can be easily generalized to other types of crystals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)