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Issue 17, 2021
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Accelerated AI development for autonomous materials synthesis in flow

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Abstract

Autonomous robotic experimentation strategies are rapidly rising in use because, without the need for user intervention, they can efficiently and precisely converge onto optimal intrinsic and extrinsic synthesis conditions for a wide range of emerging materials. However, as the material syntheses become more complex, the meta-decisions of artificial intelligence (AI)-guided decision-making algorithms used in autonomous platforms become more important. In this work, a surrogate model is developed using data from over 1000 in-house conducted syntheses of metal halide perovskite quantum dots in a self-driven modular microfluidic material synthesizer. The model is designed to represent the global failure rate, unfeasible regions of the synthesis space, synthesis ground truth, and sampling noise of a real robotic material synthesis system with multiple output parameters (peak emission, emission linewidth, and quantum yield). With this model, over 150 AI-guided decision-making strategies within a single-period horizon reinforcement learning framework are automatically explored across more than 600 000 simulated experiments – the equivalent of 7.5 years of continuous robotic operation and 400 L of reagents – to identify the most effective methods for accelerated materials development with multiple objectives. Specifically, the structure and meta-decisions of an ensemble neural network-based material development strategy are investigated, which offers a favorable technique for intelligently and efficiently navigating a complex material synthesis space with multiple targets. The developed ensemble neural network-based decision-making algorithm enables more efficient material formulation optimization in a no prior information environment than well-established algorithms.

Graphical abstract: Accelerated AI development for autonomous materials synthesis in flow

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
24 Nov 2020
Accepted
08 Mar 2021
First published
09 Mar 2021

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2021,12, 6025-6036
Article type
Edge Article

Accelerated AI development for autonomous materials synthesis in flow

R. W. Epps, A. A. Volk, K. G. Reyes and M. Abolhasani, Chem. Sci., 2021, 12, 6025 DOI: 10.1039/D0SC06463G

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