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Approaches for handling high-dimensional cluster expansions of ionic systems


Disordered multicomponent systems attract great interest due to their engineering design flexibility and subsequent rich space of properties. However, detailed characterization of the structure and atomic correlations remains challenging and hinders full navigation of these complex spaces. A lattice cluster expansion is one tool to obtain configurational and energetic resolution. While in theory a cluster expansion can be applied to any system of any dimensionality, the method has primarily been used in binary systems or ternary alloys. Here we apply cluster expansions in high-component ionic systems, setting up the largest cluster expansion ever attempted to our knowledge. In doing so, we address and discuss challenges specific to high-component ionic systems, namely charge state assignments, structural relaxations, and rank-deficient systems. We introduce practical procedures to make the fitting and analysis of complex systems tractable, providing guidance for future computational studies of disordered ionic systems.

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