Normand Mousseau
Professor of Physics and Chair
Université de Montréal

Laurent Karim Béland

Ph.D. (2013)

Current Position

Laurent Karim is currently FQRNT post-doctoral fellow and post-doctoral research associate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, USA.

Research Activities

Simulation of various metals and alloys under irradiation with the goal of developing new nuclear materials.


Google Scholar Page

Co-authored Papers

  • N. Mousseau, P. Brommer, J. - F. Joly, L. K. Béland, F. El-Mellouhi, G. K. N'Tsouaglo, et al., Following atomistic kinetics on experimental timescales with the kinetic Activation-Relaxation Technique, Computational Materials Science 100, 111-123 (2015).
    Tags: ARTc.

  • M. Trochet, L. K. Béland, P. Brommer, J. - F. Joly, N. Mousseau, Diffusion of point defects in crystalline silicon using the kinetic ART method, Phys. Rev. B 91, 224106 (2015).
    Tags: ARTc.

  • G. K. N'Tsouaglo, L. K. Béland, J. - F. Joly, P. Brommer, N. Mousseau, P. Pochet, Probing potential energy surface exploration strategies for complex systems, J. Chem. Theory Comput. 11, 1970-1977 (2015).
    Abstract: The efficiency of minimum-energy configuration searching algorithms is closely linked to the energy landscape structure of complex systems. Here we characterize this structure by following the time evolution of two systems, vacancy aggregation in Fe and energy relaxation in ion-bombarded c-Si, using the kinetic Activation-Relaxation Technique (k-ART), an off-lattice kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) method, and the well-known Bell-Evans-Polanyi (BEP) principle. We also compare the efficiency of two methods for handling non-diffusive flickering states -- an exact solution and a Tabu-like approach that blocks already visited states. Comparing these various simulations allow us to confirm that the BEP principle does not hold for complex system since forward and reverse energy barriers are completely uncorrelated. This means that following the lowest available energy barrier, even after removing the flickering states, leads to rapid trapping: relaxing complex systems requires crossing high-energy barriers in order to access new energy basins, in agreement with the recently proposed replenish-and-relax model [Béland et al., PRL 111, 105502 (2013)] This can be done by forcing the system through these barriers with Tabu-like methods. Interestingly, we find that following the fundamental kinetics of a system, though standard KMC approach, is at least as efficient as these brute-force methods while providing the correct kinetics information.
    Tags: ARTc.

  • P. Brommer, L. K. Béland, J. - F. Joly, N. Mousseau, Understanding long-time vacancy aggregation in iron: A kinetic activation-relaxation technique study, Phys. Rev. B 90, 134109 (2014).

  • L. K. Béland, E. Machado-Charry, P. Pochet, N. Mousseau, Strain effects and intermixing at the Si surface: Importance of long-range elastic corrections in first-principles calculations, Phys. Rev. B 90, 155302 (2014).

  • L. K. Béland, N. Mousseau, Long-time relaxation of ion-bombarded silicon studied with the kinetic activation-relaxation technique: Microscopic description of slow aging in a disordered system, Physical Review B 88, 214201 (2013).
    Abstract: Diffusion and relaxation of defects in bulk systems is a complex process that can only be accessed directly through simulations. We characterize the mechanisms of low-temperature aging in self-implanted crystalline silicon, a model system used extensively to characterize both amorphization and return to equilibrium processes, over 11 orders of magnitudes in time, from 10 ps to 1 s, using a combination of molecular dynamics and kinetic activation-relaxation technique simulations. These simulations allow us to reassess the atomistic mechanisms responsible for structural relaxations and for the overall logarithmic relaxation, a process observed in a large number of disordered systems and observed here over the whole simulation range. This allows us to identify three microscopic regimes, annihilation, aggregation, and reconstruction, in the evolution of defects and to propose atomistic justification for an analytical model of logarithmic relaxation. Furthermore, we show that growing activation barriers and configurational space exploration are kinetically limiting the system to a logarithmic relaxation. Overall, our long-time simulations do not support the amorphous cluster model but point rather to a relaxation driven by elastic interactions between defect complexes of all sizes.

  • J. - F. Joly, L. K. Béland, P. Brommer, N. Mousseau, Contribution of vacancies to relaxation in amorphous materials: A kinetic activation-relaxation technique study, Physical Review B 87, 144204 (2013).
    Abstract: The nature of structural relaxation in disordered systems such as amorphous silicon (a-Si) remains a fundamental issue in our attempts at understanding these materials. While a number of experiments suggest that mechanisms similar to those observed in crystals, such as vacancies, could dominate the relaxation, theoretical arguments point rather to the possibility of more diverse pathways. Using the kinetic activation-relaxation technique, an off-lattice kinetic Monte Carlo method with on-the-fly catalog construction, we resolve this question by following 1000 independent vacancies in a well-relaxed a-Si model at 300 K over a timescale of up to one second. Less than one percent of these survive over this period of time and none diffuse more than once, showing that relaxation and diffusion mechanisms in disordered systems are fundamentally different from those in the crystal.
    Tags: Amorphe.

  • L. K. Béland, Y. Anahory, D. Smeets, M. Guihard, P. Brommer, J. - F. Joly, et al., Replenish and Relax: Explaining Logarithmic Annealing in Ion-Implanted c-Si, Physical Review Letters 111, 105502 (2013).
    Abstract: We study ion-damaged crystalline silicon by combining nanocalorimetric experiments with an off-lattice kinetic Monte Carlo simulation to identify the atomistic mechanisms responsible for the structural relaxation over long time scales. We relate the logarithmic relaxation, observed in a number of disordered systems, with heat-release measurements. The microscopic mechanism associated with this logarithmic relaxation can be described as a two-step replenish and relax process. As the system relaxes, it reaches deeper energy states with logarithmically growing barriers that need to be unlocked to replenish the heat-releasing events leading to lower-energy configurations.
    Tags: ARTc.

  • N. Mousseau, L. K. Béland, P. Brommer, J. - F. Joly, F. El-Mellouhi, E. Machado-Charry, et al., The Activation-Relaxation Technique: ART Nouveau and Kinetic ART, Journal of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics 2012, 925278 (2012).
    Abstract: The evolution of many systems is dominated by rare activated events that occur on timescale ranging from nanoseconds to the hour or more. For such systems, simulations must leave aside the full thermal description to focus specifically on mechanisms that generate a configurational change. We present here the activation relaxation technique (ART), an open-ended saddle point search algorithm, and a series of recent improvements to ART nouveau and kinetic ART, an ART-based on-the-fly off-lattice self-learning kinetic Monte Carlo method.
    Tags: ART.

  • P. Ganster, L. K. Béland, N. Mousseau, First stages of silicon oxidation with the activation relaxation technique, Physical Review B 86, 075408 (2012).
    Abstract: Using the art nouveau method, we study the initial stages of silicon oxide formation. After validating the method's parameters with the characterization of point defects diffusion mechanisms in pure Stillinger-Weber silicon, which allows us to recover some known results and to detail vacancy and self-interstitial diffusion paths, the method is applied onto a system composed of an oxygen layer deposited on a silicon substrate. We observe the oxygen atoms as they move rapidly into the substrate. From these art nouveau simulations, we extract the energy barriers of elementary mechanisms involving oxygen atoms and leading to the formation of an amorphouslike silicon oxide. We show that the kinetics of formation can be understood in terms of the energy barriers between various coordination environments.
    Tags: ART.

  • J. - F. Joly, L. K. Béland, P. Brommer, F. El-Mellouhi, N. Mousseau, Optimization of the Kinetic Activation-Relaxation Technique, an off-lattice and self-learning kinetic Monte-Carlo method, Journal of Physics: Conference Series 341, 012007 (2012).
    Abstract: We present two major optimizations for the kinetic Activation-Relaxation Technique (k-ART), an off-lattice self-learning kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) algorithm with on-the-fly event search THAT has been successfully applied to study a number of semiconducting and metallic systems. K-ART is parallelized in a non-trivial way: A master process uses several worker processes to perform independent event searches for possible events, while all bookkeeping and the actual simulation is performed by the master process. Depending on the complexity of the system studied, the parallelization scales well for tens to more than one hundred processes. For dealing with large systems, we present a near order 1 implementation. Techniques such as Verlet lists, cell decomposition and partial force calculations are implemented, and the CPU time per time step scales sublinearly with the number of particles, providing an efficient use of computational resources.

  • L. K. Béland, P. Brommer, F. El-Mellouhi, J. - F. Joly, N. Mousseau, Kinetic activation-relaxation technique, Physical Review E 84, 046704 (2011).
    Abstract: We present a detailed description of the kinetic activation-relaxation technique (k-ART), an off-lattice, self-learning kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) algorithm with on-the-fly event search. Combining a topological classification for local environments and event generation with ART nouveau, an efficient unbiased sampling method for finding transition states, k-ART can be applied to complex materials with atoms in off-lattice positions or with elastic deformations that cannot be handled with standard KMC approaches. In addition to presenting the various elements of the algorithm, we demonstrate the general character of k-ART by applying the algorithm to three challenging systems: self-defect annihilation in c-Si (crystalline silicon), self-interstitial diffusion in Fe, and structural relaxation in a-Si (amorphous silicon).
    Tags: ARTc.

  • N. Mousseau, E. Machado-Charry, L. K. Béland, D. Caliste, L. Genovese, T. Deutsch, et al., Optimized energy landscape exploration using the ab initio based activation-relaxation technique, The Journal of Chemical Physics 135, 034102 (2011).
    Abstract: Unbiased open-ended methods for finding transition states are powerful tools to understand diffusion and relaxation mechanisms associated with defect diffusion, growth processes, and catalysis. They have been little used, however, in conjunction with ab initio packages as these algorithms demanded large computational effort to generate even a single event. Here, we revisit the activation-relaxation technique (ART nouveau) and introduce a two-step convergence to the saddle point, combining the previously used Lanczós algorithm with the direct inversion in interactive subspace scheme. This combination makes it possible to generate events (from an initial minimum through a saddle point up to a final minimum) in a systematic fashion with a net 300–700 force evaluations per successful event. ART nouveau is coupled with BigDFT, a Kohn-Sham density functional theory (DFT) electronic structure code using a wavelet basis set with excellent efficiency on parallel computation, and applied to study the potential energy surface of C20 clusters, vacancydiffusion in bulk silicon, and reconstruction of the 4H-SiC surface.
    Tags: ART.
Wednesday 16 July 2014

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