UConn Joins Hunt for New Materials

The University of Connecticut is one of several leading research institutions collaborating with the Toyota Research Institute to accelerate the design and discovery of advanced materials using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) announced today that it is investing $35 million to support the initiative over the next four years in an effort to revolutionize materials science and identify new advanced battery materials and fuel cell catalysts that can power future zero-emissions and carbon-neutral vehicles.

It is extremely likely there are new and potentially much better functional polymers out there waiting to be discovered. Our goal is to accelerate the discovery process by using virtual screening methods … so that potential new polymers may be identified before they are made. — Rampi Ramprasad

UConn materials scientist Ramamurthy “Rampi” Ramprasad is leading the effort at UConn. Ramprasad’s lab will work to identify new polymers using quantum mechanical computations and data-driven machine learning. Because of their flexible chemical compositions, polymers are impressive when used as insulators, semiconductors, and permeable membranes. They also are safe, inexpensive to produce, and light. As such, they hold the potential for broader use in energy storage applications such as rechargeable batteries and fuel cells.

Read more on UConn Today