Logical circuits in colloids

Nic Roberts, Noushin Raeisi Kheirabadi, Michail Antisthenis Tsompanas, Alessandro Chiolerio, Marco Crepaldi, Andrew Adamatzky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colloid-based computing devices offer remarkable fault tolerance and adaptability to varying environmental conditions due to their amorphous structure. An intriguing observation is that a colloidal suspension of ZnO nanoparticles in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) exhibits reconfiguration when exposed to electrical stimulation and produces spikes of electrical potential in response. This study presents a novel laboratory prototype of a ZnO colloidal computer, showcasing its capability to implement various Boolean functions featuring two, four and eight inputs. During our experiments, we input binary strings into the colloid mixture, where a logical 'True' state is represented by an impulse of an electrical potential. In contrast, the absence of the electrical impulse denotes a logical 'False' state. The electrical responses of the colloid mixture are recorded, allowing us to extract truth tables from the recordings. Through this methodological approach, we demonstrate the successful implementation of a wide range of logical functions using colloidal mixtures. We provide detailed distributions of the logical functions discovered and offer speculation on the potential impacts of our findings on future and emerging unconventional computing technologies. This research highlights the exciting possibilities of colloid-based computing and paves the way for further advancements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number231939
Number of pages12
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024

Cite this