Digital logic gates in soft, conductive mechanical metamaterials

Charles El Helou, Philip R. Buskohl, Christopher E. Tabor, Ryan L. Harne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Integrated circuits utilize networked logic gates to compute Boolean logic operations that are the foundation of modern computation and electronics. With the emergence of flexible electronic materials and devices, an opportunity exists to formulate digital logic from compliant, conductive materials. Here, we introduce a general method of leveraging cellular, mechanical metamaterials composed of conductive polymers to realize all digital logic gates and gate assemblies. We establish a method for applying conductive polymer networks to metamaterial constituents and correlate mechanical buckling modes with network connectivity. With this foundation, each of the conventional logic gates is realized in an equivalent mechanical metamaterial, leading to soft, conductive matter that thinks about applied mechanical stress. These findings may advance the growing fields of soft robotics and smart mechanical matter, and may be leveraged across length scales and physics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1633
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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