In materials exploration, many samples are produced. Effective data gathering and smart decision-making processes are critical for the speed and quality of the results. Digitalisation activities we are pursuing to support this include:
- Streamlining the experimental workflow with digital tools
- Automation of operations (e.g. processing, datalogging and analysis)
- Integration of modelling, simulations and artificial intelligence (AI)
Our aim is to operate a materials exploration platform based on an "open loop" paradigm, where a workflow consisting of any combination of manual, automatic, human-led or AI-guided tasks can be assembled and executed between multiple participating researchers. This will make the platform flexible and adaptible to evolving research needs.
At the heart of this is the Workflow Management System (WMS) we are developing for the BERTHA platform. This program is used to design and build a sequence of synthesis and analysis operations within a decision-making loop. It then organises the sequence of operations required to make and measure 1000s of material samples, delivering instructions to the synthesis tools and logging process data and measurement data in a database. The data is used to produce fundamental results such as phase diagrams, and to guide the continuation of the exploration process
- WMS development - Aishwarya Gupta, Master student in Engineering and IT, is developing the user interface for the WMS system and its integration with the database
- XRF parser - David Sörme, Master student in Engineering Physics, has made a project in analyising XRF composition measurements. This will be integrated with the database when ready.
- Sputter process supervisor - Paarth Sanhotra, Master student in Computer Science, is writing software to guide sputter process with a combination of automatic and manual steps as well as automatic datalogging.