Projects per year
Atomic simulations provide an effective means to understand the underlying physics of structural phase transformations. However, this remains a challenge for certain allotropic metals due to the failure of classical interatomic potentials to represent the multitude of bonding. Based on machine-learning (ML) techniques, we develop a hybrid method in which interatomic potentials describing martensitic transformations can be learned with a high degree of fidelity from ab initio molecular dynamics simulations (AIMD). Using zirconium as a model system, for which an adequate semiempirical potential describing the phase transformation process is lacking, we demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of our approach. Specifically, the ML-AIMD interatomic potential correctly captures the energetics and structural transformation properties of zirconium as compared to experimental and density-functional data for phonons, elastic constants, as well as stacking fault energies. Molecular dynamics simulations successfully reproduce the transformation mechanisms and reasonably map out the pressure–temperature phase diagram of zirconium.