Glimpses of the future: a “full stack”, highly automated materials research laboratory

Join us for the FAIRmat seminar on September 28, 2023 at 11:00, in IRIS Adlershof (Berlin) and online with speaker Brian Richard Pauw.


In our (dramatically understaffed) X-ray scattering laboratory, developing a systematic, holistic methodology let us provide scattering and diffraction information for more than 2100 samples for 200+ projects led by 120+ collaborators. Combined with automated data correction pipelines, and our analysis and simulation software, this led to more than 40 papers in the last 5 years with just over 2 full-time staff members. 

This year, our new, modular synthesis platform has made more than 1000 additional samples for us to analyse and catalogue. By virtue of the automation, the synthesis of these samples is automatically documented in excruciating detail, preparing them for upload and exploitation in large-scale materials databases. Having developed these proof-of-concepts, we find that materials research itself is changed dramatically by automating dull tasks in a laboratory.

The MOUSE X-ray scattering instrument.
The automated, modular synthesis platform RoWaN.

This talk is intended to spark ideas and collaborations by providing an overview of: 1) the current improvements in our scattering laboratory methodology, 2) introducing our open, modular robotic platform that is used for systematic sample preparation, and 3) demonstrating the data structure of the synthesis logs and measurements. Finally, the remaining bottlenecks and points of attention across all three are highlighted.


Brian Richard Pauw is a full-stack X-ray scattering specialist with over 15 years of experience, currently also dabbling heavily in laboratory automation. He develops advanced applied metrological methodologies for small-angle scattering, in collaboration with a good number of amazing colleagues.


To attend, register using the form below. Registration is open until Wednesday, September 27, at 16:00 CEST.