Structure identification methods for atomistic simulations of crystalline materials

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We discuss existing and new computational analysis techniques to classify local atomic arrangements in large-scale atomistic computer simulations of crystalline solids. This article includes a performance comparison of typical analysis algorithms such as common neighbor analysis (CNA), centrosymmetry analysis, bond angle analysis, bond order analysis and Voronoi analysis. In addition we propose a simple extension to the CNA method that makes it suitable for multi-phase systems. Finally, we introduce a new structure identification algorithm, the neighbor distance analysis, which is designed to identify atomic structure units in grain boundaries.

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