Limitations of Self-assembly at Temperature One

  • David Doty
  • Matthew J. Patitz
  • Scott M. Summers
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5877)


We prove that if a set X ⊆ ℤ2 weakly self-assembles at temperature 1 in a deterministic (Winfree) tile assembly system satisfying a natural condition known as pumpability, then X is a finite union of semi-doubly periodic sets. This shows that only the most simple of infinite shapes and patterns can be constructed using pumpable temperature 1 tile assembly systems, and gives evidence for the thesis that temperature 2 or higher is required to carry out general-purpose computation in a tile assembly system. Finally, we show that general-purpose computation is possible at temperature 1 if negative glue strengths are allowed in the tile assembly model.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Doty
    • 1
  • Matthew J. Patitz
    • 1
  • Scott M. Summers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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