The Materials Project: Accelerating Materials Design Through Theory-Driven Data and Tools

Living reference work entry


The Materials Project (MP) is a community resource for theory-based data, web-based materials analysis tools, and software for performing and analyzing calculations. The MP database includes a variety of computed properties such as crystal structure, energy, electronic band structure, and elastic tensors for tens of thousands of inorganic compounds. At the time of writing, over 40,000 users have registered for the MP database. These users interact with this data either through the MP web site ( or through a REpresentational State Transfer (REST) application programming interface (API). MP also develops or contributes to several open-source software libraries to help set up, automate, analyze, and extract insight from calculation results. Furthermore, MP is developing tools to help researchers share their data (both computational and experimental) through its platform. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to accelerate materials design and education by providing new data and software tools to the research community. In this chapter, we review the history, theoretical methods, impact (including user-led research studies), and future goals for the Materials Project.



We thank Professor Gerbrand Ceder, who cofounded the Materials Project and contributed to many of the ideas presented here. We also thank past and present contributors to the Materials Project and the worldwide community of developers that collaborate on the various software libraries that are instrumental to the project.

The Materials Project is funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division under Contract No. DE-AC02-05-CH11231: Materials Project program KC23MP.

We thank the National Energy Research Supercomputing Center (NERSC), a DOE Office of Science User Facility supported by the Office of Science of the US Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231, for providing the primary source of supercomputing time as well as web portal hosting and support. We also thank the San Diego Supercomputing Center for providing additional computing.

Finally, we thank the MP user community for providing feedback and inspiration for the project.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Department of NanoEngineeringUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  4. 4.Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA
  5. 5.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Nicola Marzari
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of theory and simulation of materialsSwiss Federal Institute of TechnologyLausanneSwitzerland

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