Computational approach for structure generation of anisotropic particles (CASGAP) with targeted distributions of particle design and orientational order

N Gupta and A Jayaraman, NANOSCALE, 15, 14958-14970 (2023).

DOI: 10.1039/d3nr02425c

The macroscopic properties of materials are governed by their microscopic structure which depends on the materials' composition (i.e., building blocks) and processing conditions. In many classes of synthetic, bioinspired, or natural soft and/or nanomaterials, one can find structural anisotropy in the microscopic structure due to anisotropic building blocks and/or anisotropic domains formed through the processing conditions. Experimental characterization and complementary physics-based or data-driven modeling of materials' structural anisotropy are critical for understanding structure-property relationships and enabling targeted design of materials with desired macroscopic properties. In this pursuit, to interpret experimentally obtained characterization results (e.g., scattering profiles) of soft materials with structural anisotropy using data-driven computational approaches, there is a need for creating real space three-dimensional structures of the designer soft materials with realistic physical features (e.g., dispersity in building block sizes) and anisotropy (i.e., aspect ratios of the building blocks, their orientational and positional order). These real space structures can then be used to compute and complement experimentally obtained characterization results or be used as initial configurations for physics-based simulations/calculations that can then provide training data for machine learning models. To address this need, we present a new computational approach called CASGAP - Computational Approach for Structure Generation of Anisotropic Particles - for generating any desired three dimensional real-space structure of anisotropic building blocks (modeled as particles) adhering to target distributions of particle shape, size, and positional and orientational order. CASGAP is a new method to generate 3D structures of non-overlapping anisotropic particles with a distribution of shapes and sizes. The generated 3D structures can be initial configurations for simulations or used for calculating properties.

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