An automated gas sampling and analysis module for the Formulation Engine, for the discovery of new photosensitive materials.
Expanding the Formulation Engine
As the Formulation Engine is modular, new modules can be added at any stage. The photocatalysis module is the first additional module to be commissioned by the University of Liverpool for the Materials Innovation Factory (MIF). for the Formulation Engine; a Labman system designed for material creation and discovery, commissioned
Septum piercing and gas sampling with inert purging
Solar irradiance via an integrated solar simulator for photocatalysis
Integrated orbital shaker for vial agitation
Plate flipping to expose vial undersides
Integrated mass spectrometer for gas analysis
XYZ SBS plate handling system for up to 15 vials at once
Automated material creation and discovery
The module receives SBS plates from the Formulation Engine and then moves them under a solar simulator to irradiate their undersides and catalyse reactions within the vials. This is done on a shaking bed to prevent the vial contents from binding together. After exposure, gases from the headspace of the vials are sampled by the module and passed to an on-board mass spectrometer which identifies the gases present. This module will be used to discover and test new materials that could give us the ability to produce Hydrogen fuel from just water and sunlight.
Like all of the modules created for the Formulation Engine, the technology within this module can easily be made into a standalone system.