Free GUI for academics for further educating scientists and engineers

Jan 10 2017

Today’s chemists, physicists, material scientists, and engineers embrace the use of graphical user interfaces (GUI) in their everyday research and design workflow.
Virtual NanoLab (VNL) works as a GUI for Atomistix ToolKit (ATK), QuantumEspresso, VASP, FHI-Aims, GPAW, LAMMPS, and various other atomic scale simulations codes. VNL, used by over 3500 scientists across the world, is free for academic users. We want to encourage professors to use VNL in their courses, and help students on their journey to understanding the quantum world.

Map freeVNL 091216

World map of free VNL users

Students following the online course Computational Materials Physics of Professor Stefaan Cottenier at Ghent University, Belgium used VNL+QuantumEspresso for the purpose of predicting properties of materials "from scratch" or "ab initio". More than 200 students from all over the world registered to the 2016 edition of this online course.
At the course site, you can register to receive a notification for the 2017 edition.

If you work as an academic researcher at a university, high school, or similar (not including government labs), you can obtain a free, perpetual license for Virtual NanoLab by filling out this online form.

If you want to know more about how to use VNL as a user interface for QuantumEspresso, we have prepared a series of written and video tutorials which you can find here: Virtual NanoLab as GUI for QuantumEspresso.

Notice that the free VNL license for academics does include the ATK-ForceField package but it does not include the ATK-DFT, ATK-SE, ATK-VASP, and the ATK-FHIAims packages. However, special teaching licenses are available for these packages.