Computational Materials: Experimental Platform
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The field of evolution in materio is a branch of unconventional computing that uses artificial evolution to manipulate materials so that the emergent properties can be used for computation. Some materials may have very complex properties and this could be utilized to do computation faster and/or more energy efficient than today's computers. The purpose of this master's thesis is to extend an already existing prototype system, called Mecobo, that is used for evolution in materio. The prototype system is currently only able to apply digital signals to the materials, i.e. high and low voltage, but with this new extension it will also be able to apply an arbitrary waveform in addition to reading the response from the materials. The main components of the extension are digital-to-analog converters that together with an FPGA functions as a frequency synthesizer. An analog-to-digital converter is also used for sampling the responsesignal. Some initial experiments are presented, where the linearity/nonlinearity of the response signal is investigated when analog signals are applied to carbon nanotubes. The results shows that carbon nanotubes are able to influence thesignals, as they pass through it.