Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

On-the-fly closed-loop materials discovery via Bayesian active learning



Aaron Gilad Kusne, Heshan Yu, Huairuo Zhang, Jason Hattrick-Simpers, Brian DeCost, Albert Davydov, Leonid A. Bendersky, Apurva Mehta, Ichiro Takeuchi


Active learning—the field of machine learning (ML) dedicated to optimal experiment design—has played a part in science as far back as the 18th century when Laplace used it to guide his discovery of celestial mechanics. In this work, we focus a closed-loop, active learning-driven autonomous system on another major challenge, the discovery of advanced materials against the exceedingly complex synthesis-processes-structure-property landscape. We demonstrate an autonomous materials discovery methodology for functional inorganic compounds which allow scientists to fail smarter, learn faster, and spend less resources in their studies, while simultaneously improving trust in scientific results and machine learning tools. This robot science enables science-over-the-network, reducing the economic impact of scientists being physically separated from their labs. The real-time closed-loop, autonomous system for materials exploration and optimization (CAMEO) is implemented at the synchrotron beamline to accelerate the interconnected tasks of phase mapping and property optimization, with each cycle taking seconds to minutes. We also demonstrate an embodiment of human-machine interaction, where human-in-the-loop is called to play a contributing role within each cycle. This work has resulted in the discovery of a novel epitaxial nanocomposite phase-change memory material.


Kusne, A. , Yu, H. , Zhang, H. , Hattrick-Simpers, J. , DeCost, B. , Davydov, A. , Bendersky, L. , Mehta, A. and Takeuchi, I. (2020), On-the-fly closed-loop materials discovery via Bayesian active learning, Nature, [online],, (Accessed June 22, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created November 24, 2020, Updated October 14, 2021