This meeting is focused on the application of first-principles computer simulation to the study of real-world surfaces and interfaces-those found outside a vacuum chamber. In this context, the current situation has three defining characteristics that reveal both the challenges that must be overcome in the next few years, and the great opportunities open to us. These characteristics are: a large armoury of maturing, complementary but largely separate methodologies; the convergence of simulation and experiment; and the desire to tackle problems that span traditional scientific disciplines. Working outside the vacuum involves a leap in complexity, non-zero and sometimes extreme temperatures and pressures and extended length and time scales, all without the sacrifice of chemical accuracy. Furthermore, in this arena simulations are particularly valuable to experiment, and may indeed provide sole or primary data.
Above all, "real-world" interfaces are those found in real-world applications and problems, from electrochemistry to catalysis, tribology to corrosion.
To solve the most complex and rewarding problems in this field we must redraw our approach so as to embrace the combination of methods, skills and cross-disciplinary expertise demanded. A natural aspect of this will be the pursuit of developments in methods to overcome the present limitations. Reflecting these themes, the objectives of this meeting include:
- To bring together internationally-eminent and authoritative simulation practitioners, experimentalists and industrial researchers - To give young researchers access to these experts - To define the state of the art, identify weaknesses, opportunities, bottlenecks - To understand scope of current methods and what developments are required - To initiate cross-disciplinary dialogue and partnerships - To strengthen and enrich collaborative networks, formal and informal - To export ideas, methods and theories from science to industry.