Navigating the design space of inorganic materials synthesis using statistical methods and machine learning
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Data-driven approaches have brought about a revolution in manufacturing; however, challenges persist in their applications to synthetic strategies. Their application to the deterministic navigation of reaction trajectories to stabilize crystalline solids with precise composition, atomic connectivity, microstructural dimensionality, and surface structure remains a frontier in inorganic materials research. The design of synthetic methodologies for the preparation of inorganic materials is often inefficient in terms of exploration of potentially vast design spaces spanning multiple process variables, reaction sequences, as well as structural parameters and reactivities of precursors and structure-directing agents. Reported synthetic methods are further limited in terms of the insight they provide into underlying chemical and physical principles. The recent surge in interest in accelerating the discovery of new materials can be considered as an opportunity to re-evaluate our approach to materials synthesis, and for considering new frameworks for exploration that are systematic and strategic in approach. Herein, we outline with the help of several illustrative examples, the challenges, opportunities, and limitations of data-driven synthesis design. The account collates discussion of design-of-experiments sampling methods, machine learning modeling, and active learning to develop experimental workflows that accelerate the experimental navigation of synthetic landscapes.
author list (cited authors)
Braham, E. J., Davidson, R. D., Al-Hashimi, M., Arróyave, R., & Banerjee, S.