Predicting and controlling the microstructure evolution within a material are considered as the "holy grail" of materials science and engineering. Many important engineering materials are designed by controlling their phase transformations and microstructure evolution. Examples include the improvement of mechanical properties through solid-state precipitation reactions in Ni-based superalloys and age-hardened Al alloys, the useful dielectric properties and electro-mechanical coupling effects by manipulating the phase transitions in ferroelectric crystals, and the memory effect of shape-memory alloys by utilizing martensitic transformations. Phase-field method has become the method of choice for modeling three-dimensional microstructure evolution for a wide variety of materials processes. This short article briefly discusses the potential roles that phase-field method can play in the Materials Genome Initiative.
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