The need for improved imaging and characterization on the nanoscale was emphasized in the 2007 Roadmap and again at the 2013 Foresight Conference on Atomic Precision. We noted last year a new advancement in atomic-scale resolution of 10-nm platinum particles, requiring multiple imaging techniques in combination, and recently the marked improvement in optical imaging for [...]
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Nanotech promises more commonplace access to advanced technology as material and fabrication costs fall and traditional barriers to innovation are removed. Examples are already being seen globally: more access to laptops and cell phones in developing countries, desktop 3D printers, a surge in establishment of shared-use research facilities, etc. A couple recent cases getting attention [...]
What 3D printers are doing to facilitate fabrication, 3D drawing programs are surpassing to facilitate design. As described at ScienceDaily.com, two systems referred to as “powerful” and “spectacular” are being highlighted at the SIGGRAPH 2014 conference in Vancouver this week: True2Form (out of University of British Columbia) brings 2D sketches into 3D (excerpt from SD [...]
Photovoltaics are an interesting case where atomic precision is not necessary to achieve potentially dramatic global impacts. Even an “ok efficiency” device that is easy to manufacture with reduced environmental hazard could have significant beneficial effects on energy resources and on device fabrication processes (which could, in turn, contribute to developments toward APM). The struggle [...]
Just when it seemed like debate over the National Nanotechnology Initiative was a thing of the past (see Foresight’s disappointment in 2008 here), disagreements regarding re-authorization and budget cuts are prompting politicians and researchers to take a detailed look at what the program supports and what it is achieving. Witnesses to the House Research Subcommittee [...]
The concern of the US GAO for a gap in nanomanufacturing is well-placed, but it is only half of the problem with the limited US vision of the impact of nanotechnology on the future world economy.
A recently released technology report titled Nano-solutions for the 21st century outlines nanotech-based solutions to global challenges. Several years in the making, the report was co-authored by Dennis Pamlin, Research Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Research Center for Sustainable Development (RCSD web site currently in Chinese only), and Eric Drexler, Academic Visitor [...]
Design and prediction are integral to Atomically Precise Manufacturing and its development. This is in part because fully functional APM can be readily explored computationally today, to levels of precision that cannot be experimentally developed today. In such a context, design is not just a resource but an approach. With rapidly expanding computational power, examples [...]
A new book by Frank Boehm explores the challenges, possibilities, and visions of nanomedical device and systems design.
Carbyne – a straight line of carbon atoms linked by double bonds or by alternating single and triple bonds — is the next stiff, carbon-based structure with unusual and desirable properties. It has been observed under limited natural and experimental conditions, is expected to be difficult to synthesize and store, and now has been theoretically [...]
Materials scientists have pursued the question of why vertically aligned carbon nanotube forests show much lower modulus values than expected. Now researchers from Georgia Tech have found that the nanotubes they fabricate contain kinks that dramatically diminish modulus value. In other words, the nanotubes are not straight; therefore, they are not stiff. The government-funded research [...]
In simplest terms, cellular automata can be thought of as groups of ‘cells’ in which the state of an individual cell will flip depending on the states of its neighbors. A ‘cell’ can be a pixel, a molecule, etc. The mathematical rules associated with cellular automation are complex and have been applied to fields as [...]
Good old fashioned boxes are here to stay, even in the context of nanoscale devices. Across a broad range of technologies and size regimes, boxes serve as containers for components, barriers against contaminants and/or radiation, and, as in the case of cell membranes, can be permeable to allow selected interactions between the interior and exterior. [...]
Quantum dots are semiconducting, nanoscale clusters that show electronic characteristics distinct from both bulk-scale materials and single molecules. Their special characteristics make quantum dots attractive for a broad range of potential applications, including photovoltaics and nanoscale transistors. The size and shape of quantum dots impact electrical properties and can therefore be used to tune the [...]
Soon after graphene sheets were being produced on a laboratory scale routinely, researchers began producing the hydrogenated version graphane (with a hydrogen atom on each carbon). This step is one of many approaches aimed at harnessing graphene’s powerful conductivity and is also being explored for hydrogen storage and other potential applications (more info in this [...]
Recently we pointed at a Forbe’s interview with Eric Drexler, in anticipation of his pending new book Radical Abundance. The book has shipped, and Drexler’s tour schedule now includes a few stops on the coasts of the U.S: New York: May 6th Los Angeles: May 8th & 9th Seattle: May 9th Find exact times and [...]
**Updates: July 2014 — Research out of Argonne National Lab suggested that silicene may have never actually been successfully synthesized, rather that spectra indicate a mixture of silicon and silicon-substrate alloy; see article on Phys.org. August 2014 — Research out of Italy suggests that their spectra establish the presence of silicene though not in a [...]
Researchers from UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute and Northwestern University have combined multiple imaging techniques to produce high quality 3D images of platinum nanoparticles, allowing advanced visualization of atomic-scale structural defects (an important advancement over X-ray crystallography). The original 2012 work, published in Nature and posted by Jim Lewis here, used electron tomography to study 10-nm [...]
Scanning probe manipulation of individual atoms and small molecules were amongst the early laboratory successes that helped bring broad scale attention to the feasibility and potential of nanoscale technologies, especially molecular fabrication. Basic manipulations of atoms and bonds by scanning probe have become familiar capabilities that follow similar protocols: the STM tip is precisely positioned [...]
A National Academy of Sciences panel has recommended a four-part research effort focused on preventing and managing any potential health and environmental risks of nanomaterials.