Implementation of metal-friendly EAM/FS-type semi-empirical potentials in HOOMD-blue: A GPU-accelerated molecular dynamics software

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Yang, Lin
Zhang, Feng
Wang, Cai-Zhuang
Ho, Kai-Ming
Travesset, Alex
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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Physics and Astronomy
Physics and astronomy are basic natural sciences which attempt to describe and provide an understanding of both our world and our universe. Physics serves as the underpinning of many different disciplines including the other natural sciences and technological areas.
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We present an implementation of EAM and FS interatomic potentials, which are widely used in simulating metallic systems, in HOOMD-blue, a software designed to perform classical molecular dynamics simulations using GPU accelerations. We first discuss the details of our implementation and then report extensive benchmark tests. We demonstrate that single-precision floating point operations efficiently implemented on GPUs can produce sufficient accuracy when compared against double-precision codes, as demonstrated in test simulations of calculations of the glass-transition temperature of Cu64.5Zr35.5, and pair correlation function of liquid Ni3Al. Our code scales well with the size of the simulating system on NVIDIA Tesla M40 and P100 GPUs. Compared with another popular software LAMMPS running on 32 cores of AMD Opteron 6220 processors, the GPU/CPU performance ratio can reach as high as 4.6. The source code can be accessed through the HOOMD-blue web page for free by any interested user.