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Evaporation, lifetime, and robustness studies of liquid marbles for collision-based computing

Fullarton, Claire; Draper, Thomas; Phillips, Neil; Mayne, Richard; de Lacy Costello, Ben; Adamatzky, Andrew


Claire Fullarton

Dr Thomas Draper
Research Fellow Biosensing/ Healthcare Technology

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Dr Neil Phillips
Research Fellow in Fungal Analog Electronics

Richard Mayne


© 2018 American Chemical Society. Liquid marbles (LMs) have recently attracted interest for use as cargo carriers in digital microfluidics and have successfully been implemented as signal carriers in collision-based unconventional computing circuits. Both application domains require LMs to roll over substantial distances and to survive a certain number of collisions without degrading. To evaluate the lifetime of LMs being subjected to movement and impact stresses, we have selected four types of coating to investigate: polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), ultrahigh density polyethylene (PE), Ni, and a mixture of Ni with PE (Ni-PE). Hierarchies of robustness have been constructed which showed that pure PE LMs survived the longest when stationary and in motion. Pure PTFE LMs were shown to be the least resilient to multiple impacts. The PTFE coating provided minimal protection against evaporative losses for small LM volumes (2 and 5 μL) however, larger LMs (10 μL) were shown to have good evaporative stabilities when stationary. Conversely, PE LMs showed a remarkable ability to withstand multiple impacts and were also stable when considering just passive evaporation. Hybrid Ni-PE LMs exhibited more resilience to multiple impacts compared to Ni LMs. Thus, when designing LM devices, it is paramount to determine impact pathways and select appropriate coating materials.


Fullarton, C., Draper, T., Phillips, N., Mayne, R., de Lacy Costello, B., & Adamatzky, A. (2018). Evaporation, lifetime, and robustness studies of liquid marbles for collision-based computing. Langmuir, 34(7), 2573-2580.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 11, 2017
Online Publication Date Jan 23, 2018
Publication Date Feb 20, 2018
Deposit Date Jan 29, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 24, 2019
Journal Langmuir
Print ISSN 0743-7463
Electronic ISSN 1520-5827
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 7
Pages 2573-2580
Keywords unconventional computing, liquid marbles, microfluidics, particle-coated droplets, impact dynamics, logic gates
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This document is the accepted manuscript version of a published work that appeared in final form in Langmuir, published by American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see


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