Transferable Force Field for Gallium Nitride Crystal Growth from the Melt Using On-The-Fly Active Learning

XY Chen and W Shao and NQ Le and P Clancy, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL THEORY AND COMPUTATION, 19, 7861-7872 (2023).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jctc.3c00587

Atomic-scale simulations of reactive processes have been stymied by two factors: the lack of a suitable semiempirical force field on one hand and the impractically large computational burden of using ab initio molecular dynamics on the other hand. In this paper, we use an "on-the- fly" active learning technique to develop a nonparameterized force field that, in essence, exhibits the accuracy of density functional theory and the speed of a classical molecular dynamics simulation. We developed a force field capable of capturing the crystallization of gallium nitride (GaN) during a novel additive manufacturing process featuring the reaction of liquid Ga and gaseous nitrogen precursors to grow crystalline GaN thin films. We show that this machine learning model is capable of producing a single force field that can model solid, liquid, and gas phases involved in the process. We verified our computational predictions against a range of experimental measurements relevant to each phase and against ab initio calculations, showing that this nonparametric force field produces properties with excellent accuracy as well as exhibits computationally tractable efficiency. The force field is capable of allowing us to simulate the solid-liquid coexistence interface and the crystallization of GaN from the melt. The development of this transferable force field opens the opportunity to simulate the liquid-phase epitaxial growth more accurately than before to analyze reaction and diffusion processes and ultimately to establish a growth model of the additive manufacturing process to create the gallium nitride thin films.

Return to Publications page