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Archive for the 'Reports & publications' Category

Science and technology roadmaps for nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 3rd, 2015

A European Science and Technology Roadmap for Graphene, Related Two-Dimensional Crystals, and Hybrid Systems hints at the opportunities to be harvested from, and the need for, the development of atomically precise manufacturing (APM).

A Breakthrough in 3D Imaging by EM Alone

Posted by Stephanie C on October 8th, 2014

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 [...]

Recent cases of 'accessible' high-tech: Open source chips & Origami robots

Posted by Stephanie C on August 22nd, 2014

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 [...]

Big computation brings your ideas into 3D

Posted by Stephanie C on August 14th, 2014

What 3D printers are doing to facilitate fabrication, 3D drawing programs are surpassing to facilitate design. As described at, 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 [...]

Tunable Assembly of Nanoparticles for (Photovoltaic) Devices

Posted by Stephanie C on August 13th, 2014

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 [...]

The NNI Debate of 2014

Posted by Stephanie C on July 11th, 2014

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 [...]

US government report highlights flaws in US nanotechnology effort

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 1st, 2014

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.

New Report: Nano-solutions for the 21st century

Posted by Stephanie C on December 20th, 2013

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 [...]

Advanced technologies by design

Posted by Stephanie C on December 16th, 2013

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 [...]

Upcoming Book Explores Nanomedical Device and Systems Design

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 21st, 2013

A new book by Frank Boehm explores the challenges, possibilities, and visions of nanomedical device and systems design.

Carbyne: the strongest, stiffest carbon chain

Posted by Stephanie C on October 11th, 2013

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 [...]

Nanotubes aren't stiff if they aren't straight

Posted by Stephanie C on October 3rd, 2013

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 [...]

Improved molecular targeting via cellular automata

Posted by Stephanie C on August 12th, 2013

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 [...]

Nanoscale box aids single-molecule optical detection

Posted by Stephanie C on July 29th, 2013

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 dot conduction impacted by stoichiometry, not dangling bonds

Posted by Stephanie C on May 29th, 2013

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 [...]

Germanane: germanium's answer to graphane

Posted by Stephanie C on May 15th, 2013

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 [...]

Drexler's book tour extends to U.S. May6-9

Posted by Stephanie C on May 4th, 2013

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 [...]

Silicene: silicon's answer to graphene

Posted by Stephanie C on May 1st, 2013

**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 August 2014 — Research out of Italy suggests that their spectra establish the presence of silicene though not in a [...]

New advancement in 3D imaging of nanoparticles at atomic resolution

Posted by Stephanie C on March 28th, 2013

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 [...]

Toward molecular fabrication: formation of distinct bond types by STM

Posted by Stephanie C on February 8th, 2013

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 [...]