Swiss Cat+ West Hub, state of the art digital laboratory technologies


Swiss Cat+ is a data-driven automated infrastructure for catalysts discovery and optimization and is one of four projects directly financed by the ETH-Rat:

The Cat+ West Hub (EPFL) focuses on homogeneous catalysis whereas the Cat+ East Hub (ETHZ) concentrates on heterogeneous catalysis.

The development plan of Swiss Cat+ West Hub consists of acquiring:

  • Robotic platforms to synthesize homogeneous catalysts according to state-of-the-art methods: organometallic chemistry, complex formation, and characterization.
  • High throughput experimentation synthetic platforms to prepare (solid and liquid dispensing), react (stirring, shaking, heating, cooling, illuminating, pressurizing …) and work up (liquid-liquid separation, filtration …) homogeneous catalytic reactions: Hydrogenation, carbonylation, hydroformylation, metathesis, cross-couplings, asymmetric catalysis …
  • High throughput analytical platform (LC, LC-PREP, SQ-MS, IM-Q-TOF, MIR & FIR FT-IR, Chiral-SFC, 400 MHz NMR, desktop NMR … ) for structural elucidation and measurement of reaction outputs. The Hub also has access to EPFL core lab facilities, including an advanced LC-MS platform and solid-state DNP-NMR.
  • Complete integration at the sample and data level: Use of robotic collaborative arms and supplier software integration.
  • An open platform for collaboration with leading Artificial Intelligence companies and “in-house developed” algorithms to support data analysis and design of experiments.

Development of Digital Laboratory Technologies

Solid sampling

Automation of high-throughput synthetic chemistry

Lab automation

Sample transfer by robots

Data and IT structure

Generation, synchronisation and analysis of experimental data

Interview of Florian de Nanteuil by RTS during the EPFL Open Days of 29-30 April 2023  (minute 1:57, in French): A l’EPFL, l’intelligence artificielle au service de la recherche