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Data-Driven Discovery and Synthesis of High Entropy Alloy Hydrides with Targeted Thermodynamic Stability
preprintsubmitted on 03.02.2021, 04:19 and posted on 04.02.2021, 05:37 by Matthew Witman, Gustav Ek, Sanliang Ling, Jeffery Chames, Sapan Agarwal, Justin Chuan-Chi Wong, Mark Allendorf, Martin Sahlberg, Vitalie Stavila
Solid-state hydrogen storage materials that are optimized for specific use cases could be a crucial facilitator of the hydrogen economy transition. Yet the discovery of novel hydriding materials has historically been a manual process driven by chemical intuition or experimental trial-and-error. Data-driven materials' discovery paradigms provide an alternative to traditional approaches, whereby machine/statistical learning (ML) models are used to efficiently screen materials for desired properties and significantly narrow the scope of expensive/time-consuming first-principles modeling and experimental validation. Here we specifically focus on a relatively new class of hydrogen storage materials, high entropy alloy (HEA) hydrides, whose vast combinatorial composition space and local structural disorder necessitates a data-driven approach that does not rely on exact crystal structures in order to make property predictions. Our ML model quickly screens hydride stability within a large HEA space and permits down selection for laboratory validation based not only on targeted thermodynamic properties, but also secondary criteria such as alloy phase stability and density. To experimentally verify our predictions, we performed targeted synthesis and characterization of several novel hydrides that demonstrate significant destabilization (70x increase in equilibrium pressure, 20 kJ/molH2 decrease in desorption enthalpy) relative to the benchmark HEA hydride, TiVZrNbHfHx. Ultimately, by providing a large composition space in which hydride thermodynamics can be continuously tuned over a wide range, this work will enable efficient materials selection for various applications, especially in areas such as metal hydride based hydrogen compressors, actuators, and heat pumps.