October 25, 2023

Machine Learning for Prediction of Thermodynamic Descriptors


Our objective is to apply machine learning (ML) algorithms for the prediction of molecular catalysis descriptors from geometric properties derived from experimental crystallographic databases. Catalysis is often considered a “low-data” discipline that is poorly suited for ML methods. An exception is the extensive structural information that is available for molecular catalysts through the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD), which contains atomically precise molecular structures from X-ray diffraction analysis for >600K metal complexes. As a proof-of-principle, we targeted the prediction of hydricity, a thermodynamic property that provides understanding and control of catalytic hydride transfer. We built a training set composed of ~100 molecular complexes with a known hydricity and structural information from the CSD. This data set was converted into a machine-readable format using the smooth overlap of atomic positions (SOAP) representation and further labeled with simple electronic descriptors for the metal centers. Multiple different neural networks were trained on this data set, and the accuracy of the hydricity predictions ranged from

Published: October 25, 2023


Wiedner E.S., B.A. Helfrecht, J.D. Erickson, and N.M. Washton. 2023. Machine Learning for Prediction of Thermodynamic Descriptors Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.