Functional materials play a key role in science and technology. Materials with interesting properties, ranging from superconductivity, ferroelectricity, colossal magneto-resistivity and electro-optical effects, just to name a few, are crucial to a wide range of applications. Given the large universe of possible compounds that can be formed by mixing different elements from the periodic table, our current knowledge of functional materials is miniscule. The conventional method of synthesizing and testing samples one at a time seems to be an inadequately slow vehicle for exploring the universe of novel materials. Recently, we have demonstrated that, using technologies similar to those used to make and inspect integrated circuit (IC) chips, materials libraries or integrated materials (IM) chips containing large collections of diversely different compounds can be made and screened to accelerate the exploration by a factor of thousands to possibly millions. 


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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(98)80009-6