Robots that can dream of new molecules
Can we accelerate the process of materials discovery using robotics and machine learning tools? A rapid development of novel materials with tailored properties is crucial for multiple industries including chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and electronic industries, to name a few. Design of novel high-tech devices such as electronic and optoelectronic devices, sensors and detectors of different types as well as biocompatible and biodegradable devices is almost impossible without using new materials that comply with multiple requirements. However, the process of materials discovery and development is very slow and frequently depends on serendipity rather than on a systematic search. Such a process can easily take several decades from the first fundamental studies to the actual application of the material in the products that are compatible on a market. In my talk, I will present a concept where new molecules and molecular materials can be created autonomously starting from the generation of an idea to actual synthesis and testing. I will also discuss the problems associated with this concept.