Fluid computers are not new to the tech savvy readers but they were the kind that used a continuous stream of water or air to run. Researchers at the Aalto University, Finland have come up with an innovative idea of computers powered by water drops. This new technology might mean the end of electricity driven computers. Wow! Computers running on water droplets?
Experiments on water droplets for computers
Scientists from this Finnish University have come up with an advanced technology through a serious of experiments. The experiments involved testing of various materials for use of chemically charged water droplets to form a battery-like device that provided the necessary power for running the computer.
According to the paper published by the university, this technology is driven by ‘Super Hydrophobic Droplet Logic’. The research team has successfully used water droplets as pieces of digital information. They found that when water droplets were coated with a chemical cargo, a reaction would be triggered off which is regulated by droplet collisions. The combination of the droplet logic operations with the chemical reaction, are the basis for the mini reactors which aid in computing.
Rebounding water droplets
The theory involved here is the rebounding water droplets on highly water repellent surfaces that carry bits of information. To create this effect the scientists engineered a silver coated copper surface and made some grooves on it. These grooves were further coated with fluorinated water repellent compounds. On such material the water droplets retain their spherical shape and are rolled off along the grooves even with the slightest tilt in the surface. These grooves are technically called hydrophobic tracks as they repel water and hence allow its free movement.
Water droplets and flip-flop technology
Each droplet is representative of one bit of information and so, logic gates can be incorporated with a collision mechanism. Thus water droplets were designed to carry information in the digital form, replacing the traditional electric signals which have been performing this function. The computer that is to be built using this technology will need no power.
Later developments in this technology would mean loading these droplets with chemicals that could be directed to specific locations and amalgamated to produce chemical reactions to power a chemical printer.
This flip-flop technology is a big boost to our ecology since most of the energy consumed in the offices is through electricity. The advent of this technology will help reduce the fossil fuel load on our planet. This technology may be amplified by further research and used to make other simple logic devices.