Self-Assembled Circuit Patterns

  • Matthew Cook
  • Paul W. K. Rothemund
  • Erik Winfree
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2943)


Self-assembly is a process in which basic units aggregate under attractive forces to form larger compound structures. Recent theoretical work has shown that pseudo-crystalline self-assembly can be algorithmic, in the sense that complex logic can be programmed into the growth process [26]. This theoretical work builds on the theory of two-dimensional tilings [8], using rigid square tiles called Wang tiles [24] for the basic units of self-assembly, and leads to Turing-universal models such as the Tile Assembly Model [28]. Using the Tile Assembly Model, we show how algorithmic self-assembly can be exploited for fabrication tasks such as constructing the patterns that define certain digital circuits, including demultiplexers, RAM arrays, pseudowavelet transforms, and Hadamard transforms. Since DNA self-assembly appears to be promising for implementing the arbitrary Wang tiles [30,13] needed for programming in the Tile Assembly Model, algorithmic self-assembly methods such as those presented in this paper may eventually become a viable method of arranging molecular electronic components [18], such as carbon nanotubes [10,1], into molecular-scale circuits.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Cook
    • 1
  • Paul W. K. Rothemund
    • 1
  • Erik Winfree
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science and Computation & Neural SystemsCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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