Developed for the R&D laboratory the powerful FOM Mercury Lab Management System provides a detailed overview of the research process in functional materials.
R&D process data collection, storage, analysis and progress overview
The FOM Mercury LMS manages inventory control, recipes, device architecture, materials and processing data, test results, statistics, correlations and analysis. The system allows the user to take control of all these lab work essentials in one integrated software platform.
Research data management
The system provides control of the data stream and manages the information generated by the research team. Beside the ability to integrate existing research results into the database, the system also provides a power point report engine.
Research group application
The FOM Mercury LMS is excellent for research groups working with functional materials as the combined database and analysis tool. It unlocks the vast potential of the device experiments and data obtained by individual and multiple researchers, while accelerating the progress of R&D by stream-lining data management. This database package is targeted specifically at the needs of solar research and development, though custom implementations are available for OTFT, OLED and other fields – please inquire for details.
FOM Mercury LMS - essentials
- Materials inventory - Comprehensive materials inventory allows tracking of materials used in devices and facilitates management of health and safety and stock level. Track every material used in the device making process. Locate individual batches of material and check for batch variation.
- Linking the physical with the data - Label your materials and samples with a barcode printer, instantly retrieve all associated material or device data with the scanner.
- Device experiment database - Device production information for device experiments stored together with performance data to allow powerful data analysis and reporting features, thereby speeding up comprehension of the results.
- Device, ink formulation and material analysis - The system is a powerful tool for the collection, storage, analysis and sharing of huge quantities of device, ink formulation, and material data. The concept behind the database design has been tuned through real world testing to increase the device experiment turnaround and efficiency.
- Formulation tracking - Record details of all solutions allocated to devices. Track every formulation made and used in the device making process. Track individual formulation batches by time made, materials, researcher and device batch in which they are used. Display the MSDS for each component in a formulation. All R and S codes for each formulation available. Scan full and empty bottles to update stock levels and update location data.
- Material, process, architecture correlation - Process and architecture information stored along with all measurement data. Ability to perform correlation queries, trend analysis, statistical analysis on entire experiment history or a subsets of data. Track performance changes with time, light intensity etc. Instantly retrieve device data and history for a particular test device by scanning its barcode.
- Efficient data reporting and auto report feature - Efficient reporting of data to share with co-workers and to maintain personal research records. Auto-report feature compiles all data from a specific device batch into a power-point report for rapid analysis and dissemination. See the report compiled in real time including device structure, IV curves, average device stats and time dependant data all compiled with one button click – simply annotate and write a summary to disseminate to colleagues.
- Answer research questions and demonstrate progress - Which parameters gave the best results? What is the overall progress? Which direction to choose? Custom graphs give you the answers.
- Accelerated development cycle - The acceleration of the development cycle from production and testing through to rapid analysis and dissemination facilitates efficient team working and ensures the optimal decision implemented from each device experiment.
- Share data with team members - There will also be no need for duplicated work, as each researcher’s results will be available to every other team member the instant they are measured.
- MSDS - Link MSDS data and ensure compliance with H&S regulations by automatically alerting them of changes. All R and S codes for each material prominently displayed.
- No more missing or lost data - All materials, formulations, process parameters and sample data across your entire research team in one place.
- Options for what and how relevant data is displayed.
- High data integrity provides confidence in results.
- Bar-code scanner captures 2D bar code label on devices, materials and formulations ensuring easy tracking of relevant data.
- Details of batches, devices, cleaning procedures, coating methods are all stored and retrievable for future experiments - no need to enter the same experiment data twice.
- Drop down menus are used to select the relevant methods for each stage.
- New experiments and procedures can be easily updated.
- Automatic device data reading means hundreds of IV curves and concomitant data can be entered in seconds, all tagged by batch, split and device number.
- Already compliant with the automated FOM Device Test Carousel to provide a complete data collection and analysis package.
- Can be linked to legacy data measurement equipment using modules tailored to your particular measurement system.
- Can be upgraded with customer specific requests for data analysis features.
- MySQL back-end can be implemented for faster data access to large data sets.
- Possible to set up remote access for viewing experiment data away from the research facility.
- Options for tablet use in cleanroom environments. The system will be installed on a local server and user certificates issued according to number of users. Training and remote support is available.
FOM MERCURY LAB MANAGEMENT SYSTEM HIGHLIGHTS AND SCREENSHOTS
The Mercury Lab Management System is focussed around experimental batches in which a researcher will define a clear research objective or question. To do this they will define controlled changes in the experimental conditions, termed “Splits” which will test a clearly defined range of the parameter space over which they wish to determine the effect upon the completed device. Within each split will be a set number of devices which will, hopefully, have a narrow spread of performance and define the uncontrolled random error in the experiment. Within each device there may be a multiple number of cells which will allow the researcher to test systematic errors due to position or size of the cell upon the device substrate.
The screen shot above highlights the bird’s eye view of the experiment. Here a supervisor or the researcher themselves can gain a clear overview of the results of the experiment: What was the aim of the experiment? How many controlled changes (splits) were there?; What was the device stack used? What was the best result? How did the results compare between splits? Almost like a summary report of an experiment, although because this is a live system, it is possible to see the effect on all parameters, not just power conversion efficiency, but short circuit current, voltage, maximum power even shunt resistance all at the click of a mouse, with graphs updating in real time.
DEVICE BATCH PROCESS DETAILS
Drilling into the device experiment itself we gain a much deeper knowledge of the details of the experiment, down to the individual device cell level. Here, we can see exactly how each device was treated: What substrate batch was used with which cleaning recipe? Was it plasma treated? Was the completed device annealed? What encapsulation was used?
Then we can look at the deposition of each layer in the device stack: Which formulation batch was used? How was it de-posited? How was it dried? What was the humidity and temperature? Did the experimenter make any notes about anomalies observed when the layer was deposited? A wealth of information can be stored and retreived for each device.
You may say this is all very well, but someone has to enter all this data for every experiment and researchers will be spending much more time entering data in a specific format rather than being free to change conditions. This may be true for the first few experiments, but the FOM Mercury Lab Management System has been designed to ensure that only the aspects that have changed between splits and even experiments need to be changed. Everything is built around filtered drop down lists which store all previous experimental conditions and can automatically fill in the data boxes when a selection is made.
The experimenter can then select a previous experiment, copy it and change only the conditions that are relevant to that experiment, vastly improving recording of experiment data and because a consistent structure is there for recording data, experimenters are less likely to forget to record specific data and if they realise that their experiment has veered from the path they set when designing the experiment, they can easily update the errant data and reassess their results immediately, without throwing out the whole experiments, as we know that most scientific advancements are borne out of initial mistakes.
The structured format also allows for better device tracking, as by coupling the lab management system with a bar code printer it is possible to bar code every device made and therefore track its performance through time, with the database automatically compiling data from the same device into the relevant experiment each time a measurement is made.
DETAILED DATA ANALYSIS
Once a device batch has been made and tested, then device measurement data can be immediately imported into the FOM Mercury Lab Management system. The system has the power to deal with raw current-voltage data and, as long as details such as device area and light intensity are known, it can immediately define the parameter metrics for each measurement such as Jsc, Voc, FF, PCE and shunt resistance. Data can be immediately sorted and filtered by any parameter and the mean and standard deviation displayed for each split. Data can also be pulled into excel for further analysis if required and any reports or analysis done outside of the lab management system can be linked to by adding a report to the report list for each experiment. The measurement curves for every single device cell measurement can be displayed with instant annotation, allowing easy comparison and identification of failed or faulty devices which can be excluded from the device batch averaging, but still shown in the device yield figures.
Multiple IV plots MATERIALS INVENTORY Each device batch consists of devices made from different layers of material and it is important that these materials are tracked in terms of supplier and individual batch variations, particularly with experimental materials as batch variations can be significant. To this end the FOM Mercury LMS holds a materials inventory which can track every material used in formulations in device batches. It is also important to track MSDS and health and safety information for each material so that researchers are aware of the risks in using any material. It is also useful in maintaining stock levels and identifying where materials are stored, as well as where to purchase new material when stocks are low. The integration of a materials inventory into the Mercury LMS means that all these things can be tracked as part of the normal experimental routine. When a new material is added to the database its concomitant MSDS and supply details should be added also. Then when a researcher wishes to use the material in an experiment batch, they can be made aware of the MSDS and asked to read it and make declaration to that effect, before they are allowed to add it to a batch. Also, if an MSDS is updated, all researchers who use that material will be made aware of that change when they next try to add it to a batch.
Stock control also becomes a routine task as stock levels can be updated as materials are used and when a material is ex-hausted, researchers can update the batch list to that effect, reducing the need for time consuming audits and stock checks.
Materials can also be barcoded easing the process of formulation making, as it is simply a case of scanning the bar code for each material and entering the amount added.
FORMULATION TRACKER FORMULATION TRACKER
Keeping track of formulations is also an important part ensuring the traceability of each experiment. The FOM Mercury LMS allows researchers to create new formulations either as they prepare them in the lab, or compile them at their desktop and print out the component list for another researcher to prepare. Each formulation can be barcoded for ease of tracking and ensuring that all materials are labelled correctly. R and S phrases from each component can be added to the label with concomitant hazard warning graphics to ensure that formulations are dealt with and disposed of in the correct manner. Formulations can also be searched by the components they contain, the researcher that formulated them and any other number of options allowing people to find previously made formulations and contact the researcher who made it, in order to find out whether their hypothesis has already been investigated.
DEVICE LONGEVITY TRACKING
The power of having a lab management system such as the FOM Mercury LMS at centre of your research activities is not just so that researchers record all relevant data, but so that data can be compared over time. In organic electronics research particularly, pushing past the headline results on freshly made devices has been difficult, as conducting meaningful lifetime studies requires excellent device tracking and monitoring, but having devices barcoded and measurement systems linked to the FOM Mercury LMS means that each measurement on a device can be instantly added to the collection of measurements to produce a stability map of the device over time and under certain conditions. This greatly simplifies stability monitoring as devices can be added to a regular test routine and tested by technicians to allow researchers to collect data automatically and draw their conclusions.
AUTOMATED POWERPOINT REPORT GENERATION
Having a system like the FOM Mercury LMS installed at your facility has many advantages for data collection, display and analysis, but what if you simply need to compile a report or presentation to an external party or another member of the team who doesn’t have access to the system? It is possible to pull any data contained in the FOM Mercury LMS out to excel and even copy graphs to PowerPoint, but this can be time consuming to go through, having to select each graph of data you wish to display, copy it, and position it, not to mention copy the experiment details.
This is why the auto report feature was developed: now with one click it is possible to pull out all the details of a particular experiment, including graphical representation of the device stack, best IV curves, average results for each parameter a throw them onto a power presentation in a few seconds, leaving researchers the time to simply annotate and comment on the data and provide their conclusions of the data analysis.
With this feature it is possible to gain a complete view of an experiment in a few minutes and enables researchers to greatly accelerate their development cycle, by quickly drawing conclusions that they can apply to their next device batch. The auto report feature is best understood through a live demonstration. Please contact your FOM representative to arrange a live software demonstration.