Chemistry of Materials

Owing to the chemical pluripotency and viscoelastic nature of electronic polymers, polymer electronics have shown unique advances in many emerging applications such as skin-like electronics, large-area printed energy devices, and neuromorphic computing devices, but their development period is years-long. Recent advance-ments in automation, robotics, and learning algorithms have led to a growing number of self-driving (autonomous) laboratories that have begun to revolutionize the development and accelerated discovery of materials. In this perspective, we first introduce the current state of autonomous laboratories. Then we analyze why it is challenging to conduct polymer electronics research by an autonomous laboratory and highlight the needs. We further discuss our efforts in building an autonomous laboratory, namely Polybot, for the automated synthesis and characterization of electronic polymers and their processing and fabrication into electronic devices. Finally, we share our vision in using a self-driving laboratory for different types of polymer electronics research.

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Self-Driving Laboratory for Polymer Electronics

Aikaterini Vriza 1, Henry Chan 1, and Jie Xu 1,2

1. Nanoscience and Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Lemont, Illinois 60439, United States

2. Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, The University of Chicago, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60637, United States

Chem. Mater. 2023, XXXX, XXX, XXX-XXX
Publication Date: March 9, 2023
© 2023 American Chemical Society

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