Sign in: Staff/Students
The latest development to come out of Professor Andy Cooper’s research lab features in an article published in the journal Nature, which highlights the increasingly important role that automation is playing in the field of chemistry.
In the article, Professor Cooper, who is Academic Director of the Materials Innovation Factory and Director of the Leverhulme Research Centre for Functional Materials Design, discusses how his research team have developed a mobile robotic chemist to work unassisted in the laboratory.
Benjamin Burger, a PhD student in Professor Cooper’s research group, spent three years building and programming the robot chemist, which is approximately the same size as a person, and which has a robotic arm that sits atop a mobile base.
This robot chemist is already making a big difference to Cooper’s research programme and it has greatly accelerated the task of sifting through thousands of potential materials that could act as catalysts to extract hydrogen from water. The acceleration in sample throughput is enormous: indeed, this robot can investigate approximately 1000 catalyst formulations in one week, which is more than a student could typically study in an entire 4-year PhD.
The robot is already capable of dispensing solids, and Professor Cooper’s team is working on automating analytical techniques to determine the molecular structure of the compounds.
The robot chemist is one of the latest developments to be developed in conjunction with the Leverhulme Research Centre for Functional Materials Design, an interdisciplinary centre which is using the power of modern computer technology to transform the discovery of new materials.
The LRC is a ten-year project with UK and international partners which brings together a cross-disciplinary team of chemists and computer scientists, working with experts in engineering, robotics, physics and management research.
You can read the full feature article `Automation: Chemistry shoots for the Moon’ (doi: 10.1038/d41586-019-01246-y) which includes interviews with researchers working in this field here >> https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01246-y
All recent news
Obituary: Ian Jobes
Summer Term Events Programme (STEP) – My review of week four
Blog: How science and society came together for the Events Research Programme
REMINDER: Module registation closes on Monday 10 May
Significant progress in lithium-air battery development
Our paper on immune responses to COVID vaccine (mostly Pfizer) in 237 healthcare workers, 124 #SARSCoV2 naïve and 113 previously infected, from the PITCH consortium @pitchstudy is out as a pre-print today.
See if you can spot us in the new @NetflixUK series, The Irregulars! 📽️
Our @VictoriaGallery appears in it, as well as other locations across the city including St George’s Plateau, the Palm House in Sefton Park and Falkner Street in the Georgian Quarter.
Professor Michael Parkinson CBE, author of 1985's Liverpool on the Brink, and Liverpool Beyond the Brink in 2019, analyses the Caller Report, the Gov's Best Value inspection into Liverpool City Council