Discovering how atoms -- such as a single layer of carbon atoms found in graphene, one of the world's strongest materials -- work to create a solid material is currently a major research topic in the field of materials science, or the design and discovery of new materials.

"You can train a computer to do what it would take many years for people to otherwise do," said Yuan Dong, a research assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and lead researcher on the study.

"This is a good starting point."

"If you put atoms in certain configurations, the material will behave differently," Lin said.

That's where computational principles come in."

Lin and Dong partnered with Jianlin Cheng, a William and Nancy Thompson Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MU, to input a few thousand known combinations of graphene structures and their properties into deep learning models.

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