Materials Informatics is an effort to improve the efficiency of materials development by using informatics (information science) methods such as statistical analysis.
In recent years, applications to the field of materials have been spreading, as digitization has made it possible to manipulate vast amounts of data with supercomputers and other high-performance information processing equipment, such as analyzing experiments and papers to predict the molecular structure and manufacturing methods of materials.
The background to the accelerated use of "materials informatics" is the progress in the development and scale of materials science databases, the rapid development of AI-related technologies, and the advancement of supercomputer performance. The development of AI-related technologies has enabled us to predict the molecular structure of materials and manufacturing methods through the analysis of past experiments and papers. The core of AI is a technology based on statistical mathematics called machine learning, and we will fully use information processing technology, including machine learning, in developing materials.
"Materials Informatics" is made up of technologies from various fields such as theory of properties, experiments, simulations, databases, cloud computing, security, etc., in addition to this machine learning. Materials informatics, also called as the fusion field of materials science and information science, has accelerated its application due to the technological development in both fields. Driven by the high performance of supercomputers and the large scale of materials science databases, the environment has enabled the high-speed handling of huge amounts of data, which has encouraged the use of materials informatics.
On the other hand, governments of various countries are actively investing in materials informatics, and during the Obama administration in the U.S., approximately 200 million dollars were spent to promote materials informatics. Following this movement, the promotion of materials informatics spread to Europe and China; in Japan, the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) and other organizations have begun efforts to promote materials informatics since 2015. This is a field that will continue to attract a lot of attention.