Design of Silicon in situ Composites

In 2011 President Obama signed the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), an inter-disciplinary effort to accelerate the development of materials from the conventional 20 to 30 years down to 2 to 3.  To reach this goal, the research team utilizes an Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) design process.  This methodology synthesizes predictive modeling with experimental efforts to optimize material design at a faster rate.

This project collaborates with Dow Corning Corps (DCC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to utilize the ICME design process to create a silicon based in situ composite.  In situ composites have a number of advantages that include easier processing techniques that create thermodynamically stable phases, however, this limitation also drastically reduces the number of possible combinations.

The goal of this research is to utilize computational models such as CALPHAD (CALculation of PHAse Diagrams) and DFT (Density Functional Theory) to aid in the design process of this material and realize the goals of MGI.  This project is part of the Center for Hierarchical Materials Design.