Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Towards computing with water droplets: Superhydrophobic droplet logic

Date:
September 7, 2012
Source:
Aalto University
Summary:
Researchers in Finland have developed a new concept for computing, using water droplets as bits of digital information. This was enabled by the discovery that upon collision with each other on a highly water-repellent surface, two water droplets rebound like billiard balls.

Water droplets moving on a superhydrophobic surface collide with each other and rebound like billiard balls.
Credit: Image courtesy of Aalto University

Researchers in Aalto University have developed a new concept for computing, using water droplets as bits of digital information. This was enabled by the discovery that upon collision with each other on a highly water-repellent surface, two water droplets rebound like billiard balls.

In the work, published in the journal Advanced Materials, the researchers experimentally determined the conditions for rebounding of water droplets moving on superhydrophobic surfaces. In the study, a copper surface coated with silver and chemically modified with a fluorinated compound was used. This method enables the surface to be so water-repellent that water droplets roll off when the surface is tilted slightly. Superhydrophobic tracks, developed during a previous study, were employed for guiding droplets along designed paths.

Using the tracks, the researchers demonstrated that water droplets could be turned into technology, "superhydrophobic droplet logic." For example, a memory device was built where water droplets act as bits of digital information. Furthermore, devices for elementary Boolean logic operations were demonstrated. These simple devices are building blocks for computing.

Video: http://youtu.be/GTnVwyWaVQw (Superhydrophobic droplet logic: flip-flop memory)

Furthermore, when the water droplets are loaded with reactive chemical cargo, the onset of a chemical reaction could be controlled by droplet collisions. Combination of the collision-controlled chemical reactions with droplet logic operations potentially enables programmable chemical reactions where single droplets serve simultaneously as miniature reactors and bits for computing.

Video: http://youtu.be/ygMdQ9NUbok (Chemical reaction controlled by droplet collisions)

"It is fascinating to observe a new physical phenomenon for such everyday objects -- water droplets," says Robin Ras, an Academy Research Fellow in the Molecular Materials research group.

"I was surprised that such rebounding collisions between two droplets were never reported before, as it indeed is an easily accessible phenomenon: I conducted some of the early experiments on water-repellent plant leaves from my mother's garden," explains a member of the research group, Henrikki Mertaniemi, who discovered the rebounding droplet collisions two years ago during a summer student project in the research group of Ras and Academy Professor Olli Ikkala.

The researchers foresee that the present results enable technology based on superhydrophobic droplet logic. Possible applications include autonomous simple logic devices not requiring electricity, and programmable biochemical analysis devices.

Other related videos are available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLstvxmQiQw29IYEmSVYPdRvG2efzR-jku


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Aalto University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Henrikki Mertaniemi, Robert Forchheimer, Olli Ikkala, Robin H. A. Ras. Rebounding Droplet-Droplet Collisions on Superhydrophobic Surfaces: from the Phenomenon to Droplet Logic. Advanced Materials, 2012; DOI: 10.1002/adma.201202980

Cite This Page:

Aalto University. "Towards computing with water droplets: Superhydrophobic droplet logic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120907082027.htm>.
Aalto University. (2012, September 7). Towards computing with water droplets: Superhydrophobic droplet logic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120907082027.htm
Aalto University. "Towards computing with water droplets: Superhydrophobic droplet logic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120907082027.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins