Alliance for AI-Accelerated Materials Discovery

The Alliance for AI-Accelerated Materials Discovery (A3MD) is a multi-institutional and industrial initiative that seeks to leverage the power of artificial intelligence to design the next generation of high-performance materials. Read more about us and meet our team.

About A3MD

A3MD brings together world-leading researchers from the University of Toronto, McMaster UniversityNational Research Council of Canada, as well as industrial partners LG, TotalEnergies, and Microsoft. A3MD’s mission is to accelerate materials discovery.  The team unites recent advances in high-performance computing, machine learning, and high-throughput experimentation, to accelerate how new materials are screened, fabricated, and evaluated.

Sample Publications

Representative accelerated materials discovery publications from our academic teams. Check back soon for A3MD's early publications.

May 13, 2020 | Nature

Accelerated discovery of CO2 electrocatalysts using active machine learning

M. Zhong, K. Tran, Y. Min, C. Wang, Z. Wang, C. T. Dinh, P. De Luna, Z. Yu, A. S. Rasouli, P. Brodersen, S. Sun, O. Voznyy, C. S. Tan, M. Askerka, F. Che, M. Liu, A. Seifitokaldani, Y. Pang, S. C. Lo, A. Ip, Z. Ulissi, E. H. Sargent

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The rapid increase in global energy demand and the need to replace carbon dioxide (CO2)-emitting fossil fuels with renewable sources have driven interest in chemical storage of intermittent solar and wind energy. Particularly attractive is the electrochemical reduction of CO2 to chemical feedstocks, which uses both CO2 and renewable energy. Copper has been the predominant electrocatalyst for this reaction when aiming for more valuable multi-carbon products, and process improvements have been particularly notable when targeting ethylene. However, the energy efficiency and productivity (current density) achieved so far still fall below the values required to produce ethylene at cost-competitive prices. Here we describe Cu-Al electrocatalysts, identified using density functional theory calculations in combination with active machine learning, that efficiently reduce CO2 to ethylene with the highest Faradaic efficiency reported so far. This Faradaic efficiency of over 80 per cent (compared to about 66 per cent for pure Cu) is achieved at a current density of 400 milliamperes per square centimetre (at 1.5 volts versus a reversible hydrogen electrode) and a cathodic-side (half-cell) ethylene power conversion efficiency of 55 ± 2 per cent at 150 milliamperes per square centimetre. We perform computational studies that suggest that the Cu-Al alloys provide multiple sites and surface orientations with near-optimal CO binding for both efficient and selective CO2 reduction. Furthermore, in situ X-ray absorption measurements reveal that Cu and Al enable a favourable Cu coordination environment that enhances C–C dimerization. These findings illustrate the value of computation and machine learning in guiding the experimental exploration of multi-metallic systems that go beyond the limitations of conventional single-metal electrocatalysts.

May 12, 2020 | Matter

Crystal site feature embedding enables exploration of large chemical spaces

H. Choubisa, M. Askerka, K. Ryczko, O. Voznyy, K. Mills, I. Tamblyn, E. H. Sargent

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Mapping materials science problems onto computational frameworks suitable for machine learning can accelerate materials discovery. Combining proposed crystal site feature embedding (CSFE) representation with convolutional and extensive deep neural networks, we achieve a low mean absolute test error of 3.7 meV/atom and 0.069 eV on density functional theory energies and band gaps of mixed halide perovskites. We explore how a small amount of cadmium doping can potentially be applied in solar cell design and sample the large chemical space by using a variational autoencoder to discover interesting perovskites with band gaps in the ultraviolet and infrared. Additionally, we use CSFE to explore chemical spaces and small doping concentrations beyond those used for training. We further show that CSFE has a mean absolute test error of 7 meV/atom and 0.13 eV for total energies and band gaps for 2D perovskites and discuss its adaptability for exploration of an even wider variety of chemical systems.

April 16, 2020 | PLoS One

ChemOS: An orchestration software to democratize autonomous discovery

L. M. Roch, F. Häse, C. Kreisbeck, T. Tamayo-Mendoza, L. P. E. Yunker, J. E. Hein, A. Aspuru-Guzik

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The current Edisonian approach to discovery requires up to two decades of fundamental and applied research for materials technologies to reach the market. Such a slow and capital-intensive turnaround calls for disruptive strategies to expedite innovation. Self-driving laboratories have the potential to provide the means to revolutionize experimentation by empowering automation with artificial intelligence to enable autonomous discovery. However, the lack of adequate software solutions significantly impedes the development of self-driving laboratories. In this paper, we make progress towards addressing this challenge, and we propose and develop an implementation of ChemOS; a portable, modular and versatile software package which supplies the structured layers necessary for the deployment and operation of self-driving laboratories. ChemOS facilitates the integration of automated equipment, and it enables remote control of automated laboratories. ChemOS can operate at various degrees of autonomy; from fully unsupervised experimentation to actively including inputs and feedbacks from researchers into the experimentation loop. The flexibility of ChemOS provides a broad range of functionality as demonstrated on five applications, which were executed on different automated equipment, highlighting various aspects of the software package.