The Material Properties Open Database was initiated by Daniel Chateigner in July 2010.
The MPOD was inspired by the Crystallography Open Database.
Crystallographic structures affect microscopic properties of the phases constituting a given material which has consequences at the macroscopic scale. Knowledge about the structure can also be used to make predictions about such properties, e.g. with a simulation approach (DFT, Molecular dynamics, …).
Knowledge about experimentally measured crystallite properties, however, is of key importance for counter-checking theoretical studies and also to better define fitting models for the structure determination itself.
The MPOD also tries to comply with the CIF format although some tricks have been adopted to allow the insertion of tensor data into the rigid structure of the STAR File.