University of Cambridge > > Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Departmental Seminars > Exploring AI to Program and Network Chemical Reactor Systems: Towards Novel Molecular and Chemical Systems Discovery

Exploring AI to Program and Network Chemical Reactor Systems: Towards Novel Molecular and Chemical Systems Discovery

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The control and prediction of complex chemical systems is a very hard problem due to the nature of the interactions, transformations and processes occurring. From self-assembly to catalysis and self-organisation, complex chemical systems are often heterogeneous mixtures that at the most extreme exhibiting system level functions for instance that could be observed in a living cell. In this talk I will outline an approach to understand and explore complex chemical systems for discovery using an automated reactor platform to control chemical unit operations according to a well-defined program and feedback / self optimisation. By investigating the system not just at the molecular level, but by characterising the spatio-temporal dynamics, the aim is to understand how to control system level emergence of complex chemical behaviour, as well as cascaded chemical synthesis, and even view the system-level behaviour as a programmable entity capable of information processing. In particular I will discuss our ideas for embodying algorithms into wet chemical formats attempting to explore ways of developing universal chemical reactors aiming for modularity, reproducibility and interoperability.

1. H. N. Miras, G. J. T. Cooper, D.-L. Long, H. Bögge, A. Müller, C. Streb and L. Cronin, ‘Unveiling the Transient Template in the Self Assembly of a Molecular Oxide Nano-Wheel’, Science, 2010, 327, 72-74. DOI : 10.1126/science.1181735

2. C. J. Richmond, H. N. Miras, A. R. de la Oliva, H. Zang, V. Sans, L. Paramonov, C. Makatsoris, R. Inglis, E. K. Brechin, D-L. Long, L. Cronin, ‘A flow-system array for the discovery and scale up of inorganic clusters’ Nature Chem., 2012, 4, 1037-1043. DOI :10.1038/nchem.1489

3. I. Prat, J. S. Mathieson, M. Güell, X. Ribas, J. M. Luis, L. Cronin, M. Costas, ‘Observation of Fe(V)=O using variable temperature mass spectrometry and its enzyme-like C–H and C=C oxidation reactions.’ Nature Chemistry, 2011, 3, 788. DOI : 10.1038/nchem.1132

4. G. J. T. Cooper, P. J. Kitson, R. Winter, M. Zagnoni, D.-L. Long and L. Cronin ‘Modular Redox Active Inorganic Chemical Cells: iCHELLs’, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2011, 50, 10373. DOI : 10.1002/anie.201105068

5. M. D. Symes, P. J. Kitson, J. Yan, C. J. Richmond, G. J. T. Cooper, R. W. Bowman, T. Vilbrandt, L. Cronin, ‘Integrated 3Dprinted reactionware for chemical synthesis and analysis’, Nature Chem., 2012, 4, 349-354. DOI :10.1038/nchem.1313

This talk is part of the Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Departmental Seminars series.

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