Transitioning Through Miniaturization to Molecular Nanotechnology
Bob Boggio*, a
Loveland, CO 80539
This is an abstract
for a presentation given at the
Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.
There will be a link from here to the full article when it is
available on the web.
While the research and revolution in Molecular Nanotechnology (MNT) are gaining momentum there are short-term applications of MNT-like processes that can demonstrate the capability and future possibilities of the technology. Since customers and investors are not likely to jump to MNT in a single step, we need a viable business model that can provide more research funding and accelerate the transition to true MNT.
One possible application of the "miniaturization to MNT" approach is in the electronic interconnect industry (the fabrication of circuit boards, discrete components, chip sets and other "stuff" commonly known as an electronic assembly). Every electronic device you own has at least one electronic assembly inside. The worldwide market for assemblies is >$150 Billion per year.
The Incremental Circuit Fabrication (ICF) process proposes to replace the existing planar and subtractive manufacturing methods used today with a completely additive process that delivers increments of different materials into a three dimensional space that defines the electrical functionality of an assembly. ICF increments will reach MNT sizes in three process generations.
In the first generation ICF process, increments of dielectric and conductive materials, in the size range of 12,700 nm down to 2,500 nm, would be used to fabricate substrates (circuit boards). The ICF process provides significant improvements in circuit density (miniaturization) and time to market for the customer while reducing fabrication costs by 75%.
Third generation ICF would produce integrated circuits directly upon or within the ICF substrate by delivering the appropriate combination of materials in increments of 15 nm or less. Decreasing in size over time, increments would transition to molecules as true MNT takes over the process. The transition to MNT also allows for the integration of nanomachines into the 3D space.
Nanotekšs vision is to manufacture a complete electronic assembly on one machine in less than two hours. Today a complete assembly requires the use of hundreds of machines, several weeks and the coordination of five, very independent, industry segments.
The ICF process has been granted a US Patent and is at the proof-of-concept stage in its development lifecycle.
Development of the ICF capability will require integrating key elements of MNT being researched today (computer science, material science and motion control), but deploy them first on a macro scale. The business model is to apply what is learned in the first generation, while generating profits, to fund future generations and pull ICF and MNT into the mainstream.
This same business model could be applied in all of the major areas of MNT research. What if we aligned our research efforts with a short-term, macro scale, MNT-like application, created (or partnered with) a business that generated profits, funded additional research and demonstrated to the marketplace that there is a competitive, business driven, roadmap to MNT?
Bob Boggio, President
PO Box 844 (Street Address: 3905 Glade Road, Zip = 80538)
Loveland, CO 80539
970-667-2278 (Phone and FAX)