Computer-assisted discovery and rational synthesis of ternary oxides

28 April 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Exploratory synthesis has been the main generator of new inorganic materials for decades. However, our Edisonian and bias-prone processes of synthetic exploration alone are no longer sufficient in an age that demands rapid advances in materials development. In this work, we demonstrate one of the first end-to-end attempts towards systematic, computer-aided discovery and laboratory synthesis of inorganic crystalline compounds as a modern alternative to purely exploratory synthesis. Our approach initializes materials discovery campaigns by autonomously mapping the synthetic feasibility of a chemical system using density functional theory with AI feedback. Following expert-driven down-selection of newly generated phases, we use solid-state synthesis and in situ characterization via hot-stage X-ray diffraction in order to realize new ternary oxide phases experimentally. We applied this strategy in six ternary transition-metal oxide chemistries previously considered well-explored, one of which culminated in the discovery of two novel phases of calcium ruthenates. Detailed characterization using room temperature X-ray powder diffraction, 4D-STEM and SQUID measurements identify the structure, composition and confirm distinct properties, including distinct defect concentrations, of one of the new phases formed in our experimental campaigns. While the discovery of a new material guided by AI and DFT theory represents a milestone, our procedure and results also highlight a number of critical gaps in the process that can inform future efforts towards the improvement of AI-coupled methodologies, which are discussed.


artificial intelligence
materials discovery
density functional theory
inorganic synthesis

Supplementary materials

Supplementary information
Supplementary information to Computer-assisted discovery and rational synthesis of ternary oxides


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.