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Publication# Scale bridging materials physics: Active learning workflows and integrable deep neural networks for free energy function representations in alloys

Abstract

The free energy plays a fundamental role in theories of phase transformations and microstructure evolution. It encodes the thermodynamic coupling between different fields, such as mechanics and chemistry, within continuum descriptions of non-equilibrium materials phenomena. In mechano-chemically interacting materials systems, even consideration of only compositions, order parameters and strains results in a free energy description that occupies a high-dimensional space. Scale bridging between the electronic structure of a solid and continuum descriptions of its non-equilibrium behavior can be realized with integrable deep neural networks (IDNN) that are trained to free energy derivative data generated by first-principles statistical mechanics simulations and then analytically integrating to recover a free energy density function. Here we combine the IDNN with an active learning workflow to ensure well-distributed sampling of the free energy derivative data in high-dimensional input spaces, thereby enabling true scale bridging between first-principles statistical mechanics and continuum phase field models. As a prototypical material system we focus on Ni–Al. Cahn–Hilliard and Allen–Cahn phase field simulations using the resulting IDNN representation for the free energy density of Ni–Al demonstrate that the appropriate physics of the material have been learned. This work advances the treatment of scale bridging, starting with electronic structure calculations and proceeding through statistical mechanics to continuum physics. Its coupling of Cahn–Hilliard and Allen–Cahn phase field descriptions with nonlinear elasticity through the free energy density ensures a rigorous treatment of phase transformation phenomena.

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Related concepts (32)

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Statistical mechanics

In physics, statistical mechanics is a mathematical framework that applies statistical methods and probability theory to large assemblies of microscopic entities. It does not assume or postulate any natural laws, but explains the macroscopic behavior of nature from the behavior of such ensembles. Sometimes called statistical physics or statistical thermodynamics, its applications include many problems in the fields of physics, biology, chemistry, and neuroscience.

Helmholtz free energy

In thermodynamics, the Helmholtz free energy (or Helmholtz energy) is a thermodynamic potential that measures the useful work obtainable from a closed thermodynamic system at a constant temperature (isothermal). The change in the Helmholtz energy during a process is equal to the maximum amount of work that the system can perform in a thermodynamic process in which temperature is held constant. At constant temperature, the Helmholtz free energy is minimized at equilibrium.

Phase transition

In chemistry, thermodynamics, and other related fields, a phase transition (or phase change) is the physical process of transition between one state of a medium and another. Commonly the term is used to refer to changes among the basic states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas, and in rare cases, plasma. A phase of a thermodynamic system and the states of matter have uniform physical properties. During a phase transition of a given medium, certain properties of the medium change as a result of the change of external conditions, such as temperature or pressure.

Ontological neighbourhood

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