via Tokyo Institute of Technology
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) devise a system that combines robotics and artificial intelligence to fully automate the routine aspects of synthesizing, testing, and optimizing new materials according to fabrication conditions. Their approach can produce and test compounds ten times faster than scientists doing manual work, allowing for the rapid creation of huge shared databases. In turn, the autonomous system and database will be used to discover exotic material properties and new laws of physics.
At the heart of many past scientific breakthroughs lies the discovery of novel materials. However, the cycle of synthesizing, testing, and optimizing new materials routinely takes scientists long hours of hard work. Because of this, lots of potentially useful materials with exotic properties remain undiscovered. But what if we could automate the entire novel material development process using robotics and artificial intelligence, making it much faster?
In a recent study published at APL Material, scientists from Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), Japan, led by Associate Professor Ryota Shimizu and Professor Taro Hitosugi, devised a strategy that could make fully autonomous materials research a reality. Their work is centered around the revolutionary idea of laboratory equipment being ‘CASH’ (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, High-throughput). With a CASH setup in a materials laboratory, researchers need only decide which material properties they want to optimize and feed the system the necessary ingredients; the automatic system then takes control and repeatedly prepares and tests new compounds until the best one is found. Using machine learning algorithms, the system can employ previous knowledge to decide how synthesis conditions should be changed to approach the desired outcome in each cycle.
To demonstrate that CASH is a feasible strategy in solid-state materials research, Associate Prof Shimizu and team created a proof-of-concept system comprising a robotic arm surrounded by several modules. Their setup was geared toward minimizing the electrical resistance of a titanium dioxide thin film by adjusting the deposition conditions. Therefore, the modules are a sputter deposition apparatus and a device for measuring resistance. The robotic arm transferred the samples from module to module as needed, and the system autonomously predicted the synthesis parameters for the next iteration based on previous data. For the prediction, they used the Bayesian optimization algorithm.
Amazingly, their CASH setup managed to produce and test about twelve samples per day, a tenfold increase in throughput compared to what scientists can manually achieve in a conventional laboratory. In addition to this significant increase in speed, one of the main advantages of the CASH strategy is the possibility of creating huge shared databases describing how material properties vary according to synthesis conditions. In this regard, Prof Hitosugi remarks: “Today, databases of substances and their properties remain incomplete. With the CASH approach, we could easily complete them and then discover hidden material properties, leading to the discovery of new laws of physics and resulting in insights through statistical analysis.”
The research team believes that the CASH approach will bring about a revolution in materials science. Databases generated quickly and effortlessly by CASH systems will be combined into big data and scientists will use advanced algorithms to process them and extract human-understandable expressions. However, as Prof Hitosugi notes, machine learning and robotics alone cannot find insights nor discover concepts in physics and chemistry. “The training of future materials scientists must evolve; they will need to understand what machine learning can solve and set the problem accordingly. The strength of human researchers lies in creating concepts or identifying problems in society. Combining those strengths with machine learning and robotics is very important,” he says.
Overall, this perspective article highlights the tremendous benefits that automation could bring to materials science. If the weight of repetitive tasks is lifted off the shoulders of researchers, they will be able to focus more on uncovering the secrets of the material world for the benefit of humanity.
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Discovery Center to unveil new police car exhibit in memory of fallen officer D.W. Smithon August 27, 2021 at 5:02 pm
Saturday is a special day at the Discovery Center. The museum will open a special new exhibit in the Story Garden, in honor of fallen Johnson City Police Officer D.W. Smith. The exhibit features Smith ...
- AC Coil Leak Repair Costs in Discovery Bay, CA in 2021on August 27, 2021 at 2:41 pm
Looking for top AC Coil Leak Repair professionals in your area? Get a free estimate on any project from our pre-screened contractors today!
- Engaging New Virtual Field Trips from Discovery Education and Partners Welcome Students and Teachers Back to Schoolon August 27, 2021 at 1:08 pm
To welcome K-12 students and teachers back to school, Discovery Education—the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art K-12 digital ...
- Ultrafast Electron Microscopy Leads to Exciting Discoveryon August 27, 2021 at 1:37 am
Scientists have discovered that nanoparticles of gold act unusually when close to the edge of a one-atom thick sheet of carbon, called graphene. This could have big implications for the development of ...
- Azure Minerals’ Andover discovery starts to exciteon August 26, 2021 at 3:55 pm
This week’s news from Andover includes thick drill intersections of up to 46.2 metres of mineralised material from a depth of 528m and ... scene of his greatest success – the Cosmos nickel discovery ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Novel filling material prevents recurrence of caries in the margins of restorationon August 27, 2021 at 8:30 pm
Vivadent has recently introduced a tooth-colored filling material, named Cention N, for the bulk application in retentive preparations with or without the application of an adhesive system.
- Going to Extremes with MISSE: Advancing New Materials and Technology Outside the ISSon August 27, 2021 at 12:56 pm
Advancing New Materials and Technology Outside the ISS. Press Release From: Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) Posted: Friday, Au ...
- Novel physics gives rise to the highest coherence for microscopic laserson August 27, 2021 at 8:53 am
Scientists from DTU have shown that a Fano laser, a new type of microscopic laser, has fundamental advantages compared to other types of lasers. The discovery can be important for many future ...
- Netflix's Cowboy Bebop To Receive Comic Series, Prequel Novelon August 27, 2021 at 8:26 am
Anime fans were blown away when it was announced that Netflix's live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop would be arriving this November, giving us a brand new take on the crew of the Bebop with Spike ...
- Five Best: Novels on Traumaon August 27, 2021 at 6:10 am
Selected by Mira Sethi, the author of the short-story collection ‘Are You Enjoying?’ ...