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A major challenge in materials design is how to efficiently search the vast chemical design space to find the materials with desired properties. One effective strategy is to develop sampling algorithms that can exploit both explicit chemical knowledge and implicit composition rules embodied in the large materials database. Here, we propose a generative machine learning model (MatGAN) based on a generative adversarial network (GAN) for efficient generation of new hypothetical inorganic materials. Trained with materials from the ICSD database, our GAN model can generate hypothetical materials not existing in the training dataset, reaching a novelty of 92.53% when generating 2 million samples. The percentage of chemically valid (charge-neutral and electronegativity-balanced) samples out of all generated ones reaches 84.5% when generated by our GAN trained with such samples screened from ICSD, even though no such chemical rules are explicitly enforced in our GAN model, indicating its capability to learn implicit chemical composition rules to form compounds. Our algorithm is expected to be used to greatly expand the range of the design space for inverse design and large-scale computational screening of inorganic materials.
Dan, Y., Zhao, Y., Li, X., Li, S., Hu, M., & Hu, J. (2020). Generative adversarial networks (GAN) based efficient sampling of chemical composition space for inverse design of inorganic materials. Npj Computational Materials, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41524-020-00352-0