Designing the materials of tomorrow at the atomic scale: taking the “EUREKA!” moments out of the lab
People picture that scientists are heard shouting “EUREKA!” throughout the week as they find the next ground breaking discovery, however scientists know that the path to said discovery is slow, costly, and wrought with pitfalls. This talk will demonstrate how the Fry-Petit materials chemistry lab combines big data with synthesis and analysis to improve the success rate of experiments. As an example we will present how within one summer this approach has led us to discover three new solids that have potential use in sonar, computer memory, and sensors. Increasing the number of these compounds in the family by 17% in a single experiment a significant improvement over traditional methods. Details of data mining, solid state synthesis, and diffraction techniques will be presented.