Accelerated screening of colloidal nanocrystals using artificial neural network-assisted autonomous flow reactor technology

Ajit Vikram, Ken Brudnak, Arwa Zahid, Moonsub Shim, Paul J.A. Kenis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals with tunable optical and electronic properties are opening up exciting opportunities for high-performance optoelectronics, photovoltaics, and bioimaging applications. Identifying the optimal synthesis conditions and screening of synthesis recipes in search of efficient synthesis pathways to obtain nanocrystals with desired optoelectronic properties, however, remains one of the major bottlenecks for accelerated discovery of colloidal nanocrystals. Conventional strategies, often guided by limited understanding of the underlying mechanisms remain expensive in both time and resources, thus significantly impeding the overall discovery process. In response, an autonomous experimentation platform is presented as a viable approach for accelerated synthesis screening and optimization of colloidal nanocrystals. Using a machine-learning-based predictive synthesis approach, integrated with automated flow reactor and inline spectroscopy, indium phosphide nanocrystals are autonomously synthesized. Their polydispersity for different target absorption wavelengths across the visible spectrum is simultaneously optimized during the autonomous experimentation, while utilizing minimal self-driven experiments (less than 50 experiments within 2 days). Starting with no-prior-knowledge of the synthesis, an ensemble neural network is trained through autonomous experiments to accurately predict the reaction outcome across the entire synthesis parameter space. The predicted parameter space map also provides new nucleation-growth kinetic insights to achieve high monodispersity in size of colloidal nanocrystals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17028-17039
Number of pages12
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 28 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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