A force-matching Stillinger-Weber potential for MoS2: Parameterization and Fisher information theory based sensitivity analysis

Mingjian Wen, Sharmila N. Shirodkar, Petr Plecháč, Efthimios Kaxiras, Ryan S. Elliott, Ellad B. Tadmor

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Two-dimensional molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) is a promising material for the next generation of switchable transistors and photodetectors. In order to perform large-scale molecular simulations of the mechanical and thermal behavior of MoS2-based devices, an accurate interatomic potential is required. To this end, we have developed a Stillinger-Weber potential for monolayer MoS2. The potential parameters are optimized to reproduce the geometry (bond lengths and bond angles) of MoS2 in its equilibrium state and to match as closely as possible the forces acting on the atoms along a dynamical trajectory obtained from ab initio molecular dynamics. Verification calculations indicate that the new potential accurately predicts important material properties including the strain dependence of the cohesive energy, the elastic constants, and the linear thermal expansion coefficient. The uncertainty in the potential parameters is determined using a Fisher information theory analysis. It is found that the parameters are fully identified, and none are redundant. In addition, the Fisher information matrix provides uncertainty bounds for predictions of the potential for new properties. As an example, bounds on the average vibrational thickness of a MoS2 monolayer at finite temperature are computed and found to be consistent with the results from a molecular dynamics simulation. The new potential is available through the OpenKIM interatomic potential repository at https://openkim.org/cite/MO-201919462778-000.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number244301
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 28 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was partly supported by the Army Research Office (W911NF-14-1-0247) under the MURI program, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant Nos. PHY-0941493 and DMR-1408211. We thank Dr. Douglas E. Spearot for providing the LAMMPS implementation of the MoS2 REBO potential and Dr. Adri van Duin for sharing the MoS2 ReaxFF parameters. The authors wish to acknowledge the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) at the University of Minnesota for providing resources that contributed to the results reported in this manuscript. The AIMD simulations were carried out on the Odyssey cluster of the Research Computing Group at Harvard University, and at the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), supported by NSF Grant No. ACI-1053575.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Author(s).


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