Chemical memory with states coded in light controlled oscillations of interacting Belousov–Zhabotinsky droplets
The information storing potential of droplets, in which an oscillatory, photosensitive Belousov–Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction proceeds, is investigated experimentally. We consider coupled oscillations in pairs and triplets of droplets. Droplets are surrounded by a solution of lipids in decane. Oscillations synchronize via diffusion of an activator through a lipid bilayer. The reaction in each droplet can be individually controlled by illumination with blue light through an optical fiber. We found that in pairs of BZ droplets, only the in-phase and the forcing oscillation modes are stable, however switching between these modes is not reliable. In triplets of droplets, switching between two different, stable rotational modes (clockwise and anticlockwise) can be easily implemented. Therefore, such a system is an excellent candidate for a light controlled, reliable, one bit chemical memory unit.