The Materials Genome Initiative will create a new era of materials innovation that will serve as a foundation for strengthening domestic industries in these fields. This initiative offers a unique opportunity for the United States to discover, develop, manufacture, and deploy advanced materials at least twice as fast as possible today, at a fraction of the cost. Essential to this effort is the development of a data infrastructure that will provide the needed data and tools to support this effort. Some of the fundamental data needed for this infrastructure is phase based material data.
Phase-based data includes thermodynamics, diffusion, molar volume, elastic properties, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity and may be extended to two phase descriptions such as interfacial energies. Phase-based data includes both experimental and computational data. One of the biggest challenges is addressing the multicomponent nature of phase-based data. Another challenge is that the different users of the data have different needs. For example, an industrial user user may just want a number (i.e. the diffusion coefficient for specific material). While an expert in the field may want all the available raw data (i.e. expert in diffusion may want not only the report diffusion coefficients and reported composition profiles, but also the SIMS intensity vs distance data (if SIMS was used to collect the diffusion data.) This requires that data infrastructure be built to accommodate a variety of user needs and as well as data types.
To develop the need data infrastructure and informatics tools, NIST is focusing on three areas: data curation, data infrastructure, and data access.