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Ratched cellular automata

Ultimate microelectronic devices require new operational concepts aiming to increase the speed and circuit density. Therefore quantum cellular automata (QCA) were suggested where information is encoded as positional or orientational configurations of interacting particles or spins. So far, QCA are typically operated in the adiabatic rego,e which limits their speed and requires large energy separations between the ground and excited states (or low temperatures) for reliable operation. These drawbacks can be avoided by a recently proposed ratched cellular automaton (RCA). This is a novel ratchet-like mechanism which performs clocked data transfer and logic operations in a classical system of coupled particles (movie). We present the first experimental realization of a RCA in a colloidal system and demonstrate operation far from thermal equilibrium.

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