An open-source environmental chamber for materials-stability testing using an optical proxy

Rodolfo Keesey*, Armi Tiihonen*, Alexander E. Siemenn, Thomas W. Colburn, Shijing Sun, Noor Titan Putri Hartono, James Serdy, Margaret Zeile, Keqing He, Cole A. Gurtner, Austin C. Flick, Clio Batali, Alex Encinas, Richa R. Naik, Zhe Liu, Felipe Oviedo, I. Marius Peters, Janak Thapa, Siyu Isaac Parker Tian, Reinhold H. DauskardtAlexander J. Norquist*, Tonio Buonassisi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


This study is motivated by the desire to produce a low-cost, high-precision, high-throughput environmental chamber to test materials and devices under elevated humidity, temperature, and light. This paper documents the creation of an open-source tool with a bill of materials as low as US$2,000, and the subsequent evolution of three second-generation tools installed at three different universities spanning thin films, bulk crystals, and thin-film solar-cell devices. We introduce an optical proxy measurement to detect real-time phase changes in materials. We present correlations between this optical proxy and standard X-ray diffraction measurements, describe some edge cases where the proxy measurement fails, and report key learnings from the technology-translation process. By sharing lessons learned, we hope that future open-hardware development and translation efforts can proceed with reduced friction. Throughout the paper, we provide examples of scientific impact, wherein participating laboratories used their environmental chambers to study and improve the stabilities of halide-perovskite materials. All generations of hardware bills of materials, assembly instructions, and operating codes are available in open-source repositories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-440
Number of pages19
JournalDigital Discovery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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