(458e) Sonochemical Method for High-Throughput Synthesis of Inorganic Nanostructures | AIChE

(458e) Sonochemical Method for High-Throughput Synthesis of Inorganic Nanostructures


Politi, M. - Presenter, University of Washington
Tavakoli, C., University of Washington
Mace, J. S., University of Washington
Vasquez, J., University of Washington
Peek, N., University of Washington
Vaddi, K., University of Washington
Pozzo, L., University of Washington
The development of new materials is essential to help humankind to face many of its emergent challenges, such as the shift toward clean energy, the fight against pandemics, and granting access to clean water. To accelerate this process, new research initiatives, such as the Materials Acceleration Platforms (MAPs) are arising. The MAPs are a combination of tools for the discovery, optimization, and deployment of new materials. However, at the current state, MAPs still present significant challenges, such as inflexible designs (i. e. suitable only for specific reactions) and a high initial cost of implementation. In this context, our combination of open source robotic systems with sonochemical synthesis can achieve high-throughput experimentation with an implementation cost well below $10,000 US dollars. Our approach involves the use of liquid handling robots, OT-2 from Opentrons, and a custom-built motion platform with an ultrasonication tool, called 'sonication station'. The OT-2 liquid handling robot is an affordable tool capable of preparing hundreds of precursor solutions through careful liquid pipetting. The sonication station is a tool built onto an open-hardware 3D printing platform, Jubilee (https://github.com/machineagency/jubilee), that can sonicate samples through a sonication horn attached that allows an array of automated experiments. In a demonstration of the versatility of our platform, we synthesized four different classes of nanomaterials: cadmium selenide quantum dots, lead-free cesium bismuth bromide (Cs3Bi2Br9) perovskite nanoparticles, upconverting nanoparticles (rare earth-doped NaYF4), and exfoliated metal boride nanostructures (TiB2 and AlB2). To characterize the number of samples we generated, we also used high-throughput characterization techniques, such as commercially available microplate readers for UV-Vis spectroscopy and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy, robot-assisted high-throughput small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), and coating of sample arrays onto silicon wafers for x-ray diffraction (XRD). We believe our sonication platform can contribute to the scientific effort of acceleration in the discovery and optimization of new materials.