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MS&E Seminar Series: Dr. Kevin Yager

April 20 @ 12:00 PM

Dr. Kevin Yager
Group Leader
Electronic Nanomaterials Brookhaven National Laboratory
Host: Professor Padma Gopalan (MS&E)

Autonomous Materials Discovery using X-ray Scattering

Autonomous experimentation (AE) holds enormous promise for accelerating scientific discovery. This paradigm leverages machine-learning methods to construct experimental loops where the machine selects and conducts experiments, liberating the human scientist to focus on high-level goals and understanding. This talk will discuss the vision for autonomous experiments (AE) using a synchrotron x-ray scattering beamline as the key example. Deep learning is used to classify x-ray detector images, with performance improving when domain-specific data transformations are applied. To close the autonomous loop, we deploy a general-purpose algorithm based on gaussian processes. Several examples of successful autonomous experiments in polymer science will be presented, including the use of AE to explore the non-equilibrium self-assembly of block copolymer thin films into non-native morphologies.

Dr. Kevin Yager is a group leader in the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven National Laboratory. His group studies a variety of topics, including self-assembly, hybrid materials, and quantum heterostructures. Dr. Yager obtained his Ph.D. at McGill University on studies of photo-responsive polymers. He worked at NIST on neutron scattering, and joined Brookhaven in 2010. His research program focuses on studies of self-assembling thin films, x-ray scattering measurement methods, and AI/ML for material discovery. He won the Brookhaven 2019 Science & Technology Award, and was selected as an Oppenheimer Fellow by the Department of Energy in 2020.

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