Report

Microfluidic Bubble Logic

Science  09 Feb 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5813, pp. 832-835
DOI: 10.1126/science.1136907

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Abstract

We demonstrate universal computation in an all-fluidic two-phase microfluidic system. Nonlinearity is introduced into an otherwise linear, reversible, low–Reynolds number flow via bubble-to-bubble hydrodynamic interactions. A bubble traveling in a channel represents a bit, providing us with the capability to simultaneously transport materials and perform logical control operations. We demonstrate bubble logic AND/OR/NOT gates, a toggle flip-flop, a ripple counter, timing restoration, a ring oscillator, and an electro–bubble modulator. These show the nonlinearity, gain, bistability, synchronization, cascadability, feedback, and programmability required for scalable universal computation. With increasing complexity in large-scale microfluidic processors, bubble logic provides an on-chip process control mechanism integrating chemistry and computation.

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