According to a research published in the ‘Advanced Materials’ journal, water droplets could potentially be used as the basis for a new computing concept. Using water droplets as digitized information, Aalto University-based researchers have developed the “Superhydrophobic Droplet Logic” model. The research is based on the finding that two water droplets snap back like snooker balls when they bang into each other in a highly water-proof surface. Researchers used a copper surface to ascertain the conditions necessary for making the water droplets rebound when moved on superhydrophobic surfaces.
A fluorinated compound was used to chemically modify the silver coating on the copper surface which made it extremely hydrophobic To guide the water droplets along a pre-designed path, superhydrophobic tracks were employed on this surface. The "superhydrophobic droplet logic" was thus developed and researchers explained that the water droplets could potentially be turned into technology where digital technology was present in the form of water droplets. This would allow the creation of a memory using the building blocks for computing i.e., devices made using the basic Boolean logic operations.
When loaded with reactive chemicals, the water droplets could be used to incite a chemical reaction via controlled collision of these droplets. By combining droplet logic operations with collision-controlled chemical reactions, programmable chemical reactions can be created. According to the research, superhydrophobic droplet logic could enable the creation of technology like programmable biochemical analysis devices and electricity-free autonomous simple logic devices.