M4: Making, Measuring, and Modeling Materials
MaRIE's Making, Measuring, and Modeling Materials (M4) Facility aims to accelerate the transition from observation to control of materials by providing unique synthesis and characterization tools to advance the frontiers of materials design and discovery.
Integration is a key element in the success of M4 and MaRIE as a whole that will enable success in the following:
- Materials by design through the integration of making, measuring and modeling with rapid feedback
- Controlled synthesis of complex materials through the integration of making and measuring to provide in situ structural information during synthesis
- Improved material lifetimes via a mechanistic understanding of failure through the integration of extremes and time-resolved characterization techniques
To achieve this integration will require effective collaboration among M4 researchers and external users and minimizing the cycle time between making, measuring, and modeling. Bringing together experimentalists, theorists, modelers, and computational scientists in one location fosters spontaneous discussions and ideas and accelerates the theory–synthesis–characterization feedback loop by overcoming genuine issues of sample transport, including moving actinides or explosives and maintaining the integrity of the sample environment.
Advanced facilities for microelectronics such as Sandia National Laboratories' MESA (Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications) and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany, State University of New York, demonstrate how success is linked to a facility with integrated synthesis and in situ characterization.
The Nanoscale Science Research Centers sponsored by the DOE's Office of Basic Energy Sciences, including CINT, emphasize the importance of bringing theory, synthesis, and characterization together under one roof.
To provide the same capability for materials in extremes, we must go far beyond the relatively small set of materials used in the microelectronics industry and explore complex multifunctional materials. We must also go beyond the nanoscale and tackle the difficult challenge of micron-scale inhomogeneities that can control both performance and failure. M4 will effectively integrate multiple synthesis techniques and provide in situ characterization in a highly controlled environment to accelerate the discovery of a diverse set of solid-state composite materials designed to perform better and longer in extreme environments.
To be successful, M4 will leverage complementary capabilities at Los Alamos, including CINT for nanoscale systems, supercomputing capabilities for micron-scale modeling, the Sigma Facility for large-scale processing, the Plutonium Facility for significant quantities of actinides, the NHMFL for magnetic field extremes, and the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center for neutron-based characterization techniques.