SPPARKS, a Mesoscale Model for Simulating Microstructural Evolution

National Laboratory: 
Sandia National Laboratories
Computational Tools Class: 

SPPARKS is a parallel Monte Carlo code for on- and off-lattice models that includes algorithms for kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC), rejection kinetic Monte Carlo (rKMC), and Metropolis Monte Carlo (MMC). It implements several KMC solvers whose serial computational complexity ranges from O(N) to O(NlogN) to O(1) in the number of events N owned by a processor. SPPARKS has been applied to many microstructural evolution processes, including Ostwald ripening, recrystallization, and sintering, to name a few. The code is designed to easily modify or extend with new functionality.

Capability Bounds: 

SPPARKS can run on a variety of platforms, from single-processor, small machines to massively parallel computers.

Unique Aspects: 

Simulation capabilities are available for a range of microstructural evolution processes, such as grain growth, two-phase coarsening, deposition by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and other processes, recrystallization, welding, and more.


Open-source code is available under a General Public License (GPL).

Single Point of Contact: 

Name: Aidan Thompson
Email: athomps@sandia.gov

  1. Crossing the Mesoscale No-Man's Land via Parallel Kinetic Monte Carlo, S. Plimpton, C. Battaile, M. Chandross, L. Holm, A. Thompson, V. Tikare, G. Wagner, E. Webb, X. Zhou, C. Garcia Cardona, A. Slepoy, Sandia report SAND2009-6226, October 2009.
  2. Hybrid Potts-Phase Field Model for Coupled Microstructural-Compositional Evolution, E.R. Homer, V. Tikare, E.A. Holm, Comp. Mater. Sci., 69 414–423 (2013)
  3. A hybrid simulation methodology for modeling dynamic recrystallization in UO2 LWR nuclear fuels, J. Madison, V. Tikare and E.A. Holm, J. Nucl. Mater., 425 173-180 (2012)
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