AI discovers 21 new materials for organic solid state lasers

AI discovers 21 new materials for organic solid state lasers

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Researchers from six teams in five labs have used AI to reduce the time to discover new materials for solid state lasers from years to only a few months

Organic solid state lasers (OSLs) hold immense promise for a wide range of applications due to their flexibility, colour tunability, and efficiency. However, they are difficult to make, and with over 150,000 possible experiments required to conduct to find successful new materials, discovering them all would be the work of several lifetimes.

The technology is increasingly of interest for optical links for chiplets and other photonic applications.

In the previous decades, only 10-20 new OSL materials have been tested. Researchers with the Acceleration Consortium based at the University of Toronto used self-driving lab (SDL) technology that, once set up, enabled them to synthesize and test over 1000 potential OSL materials and discover at least 21 top performing OSL gain candidates in a matter of months.

The automated SDL lab uses AI and robotic synthesis to streamline the process of identifying and testing novel materials. Labs in Glasgow in Scotland, Illinois in the USA, Toronto and Vancouver in Canada, and Fukuoka in Japan were involved.

Each lab in the Acceleration Consortium was able to contribute its unique expertise and resources with a decentralized workflow, managed by a cloud-based platform. This not only enhanced efficiency but also allowed for the rapid replication of experimental findings, accelerating the development of next-generation solid state lasers.

“What this shows is that a closed-loop approach can be delocalized, researchers can go all the way down from the molecular state down to devices and you can accelerate the discovery of materials that are very early in the process of commercialization,” said Dr. Alán Aspuru-Guzik, director of the Acceleration Consortium.

 “The team designed an experiment that went all the way down from molecule to device- with the final devices being made in Japan. They were scaled up in Vancouver and then transferred to Japan for characterization.” 

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