Pushing Nanomaterials past the Kilogram Scale—a Targeted Approach Integrating Scalable Microreactors, Machine Learning and High-Throughput Analysis

Novel materials are the backbone of major technological advances. However, the development and wide-scale introduction of new materials, such as nanomaterials, is limited by three main factors—the expense of experiments, inefficiency of synthesis methods and complexity of scale-up. Reaching the kilogram scale is a hurdle that takes years of effort for many nanomaterials. We introduce an improved methodology for materials development, combining state-of-the-art techniques—multi-objective machine learning optimization, high yield microreactors and high throughput analysis. We demonstrate this approach by efficiently developing a kg per day reaction process for highly active antibacterial ZnO nanoparticles. The proposed method has the potential to significantly reduce experimental costs, increase process efficiency and enhance material performance, which culminate to form a new pathway for materials discovery.