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Making the unimaginable possible in materials discovery

December 21, 2022

The world’s best artists can take a handful of differently colored paints and create a museum-worthy canvas that looks like nothing else. They do so by drawing upon inspiration, knowledge of what’s been done in the past and design rules they learned after years in the studio. 

Chemists work in a similar way when inventing new compounds. Researchers at Northwestern University, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago have developed a new method for discovering and making new crystalline materials with two or more elements.

Details of the method were published last month in the journal Nature.

We expect that our work will prove extremely valuable to the chemistry, materials and condensed matter communities for synthesizing new and currently unpredictable materials with exotic properties,” Northwestern’s Mercouri Kanatzidis said.

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