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The Need

Thermodynamics forms the fundamental underpinning of reactivity, transformation, and stability. It places controls on processes such as synthesis, corrosion and degradation, environmental transport, catalysis, and biological reactivity. In the materials field, the wealth of new compounds, polymorphs, hybrid organic-inorganic hybrid materials and metal organic frameworks, high-entropy alloys, multiphase and nano materials, attained by a variety of nonequilibrium synthesis and processing methodologies, has outrun available thermodynamic data, hampering understanding of synthetic pathways, materials compatibility and longevity during use, and degradation, corrosion, dissolution, as well as environmental contamination and transport. In the geological and environmental sciences, similar needs for thermodynamic data for complex minerals exist. The excitement of new chemistry in planetary systems, both in our solar system and beyond, requires a broad scale thermodynamic approach. The needs of materials science, earth and planetary science, and environmental science are both overlapping and complementary.

The Beginning

The nucleus of the Thermodynamic Consortium was formed during a workshop of about fifteen people at the Peter A. Rock Thermochemistry Laboratory at UC Davis on June 27-28, 2017. The participants were all experimental thermodynamicists and materials scientists. Some of them have a long history of collaborative projects and grants. A number of students, postdocs, and junior faculty active in experimental thermochemistry also took part. Though the workshop fulfilled the purposes of a users‘ group meeting for the growing number of people who have recently bought the commercial Calvet calorimeter, the Setaram AlexSYS, it soon became clear that the science needed interactions of a broader interest group. Thus the idea to form a Thermodynamics Consortium was born.

The Goals
  • To elevate awareness of how useful and essential modern thermodynamics is to many fields and to provide easy access to collaborations.

  • To exchange best practices and scientific discoveries among the users of different experimental thermodynamic instrumentations. 

  • To guide and support young researchers using the members’ vast experience in both and experimental and computational thermodynamics and in structural studies. 

  • To work with other database developers and users to create an interactive and constantly easily updated database of thermodynamic parameters for complex materials. 

  • To enhance the relations and the two-way communication with the manufacturers of equipment and industry in general, who will respond to the needs of their customers. 

  • To help formulate ideas and plans for various large proposals; to explore opportunities for funding.

  • To bring together computational thermodynamicists, representing both first principles molecular level calculations (DFT, MD etc.) and phase diagram computation (CalPhaD, big data, materials genome, etc.), crystallographers, spectroscopists, and other people working on complex structure and reactivity to coalesce a truly interactive consortium.

  • To organize workshops, short courses, sessions at meetings, topical journal issues, etc.