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Archive for the 'Computational nanotechnology' Category

Atomic precision as the goal of nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 27th, 2009

Nanotechnology Enables Real Atomic Precision is the title of a piece by Susan Smith in Desktop Engineering, which includes comments by longtime Foresight Senior Associates Steve Vetter and Tihamer Toth-Fejel: While nanotechology might mean different things to different people, the term was originally coined to describe the building of things from the bottom up with [...]


Posted by J. Storrs Hall on September 2nd, 2009

If you were an alien from an advanced civilization who had been stranded on Earth, but had all your people’s knowledge on a thumb drive, how would you go about creating nanotech and building up Earth’s technology to the level you could rejoin your galactic civilization? If you actually knew the details, probably one of [...]

A cautionary note, concluded

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on June 15th, 2009

Last week I posted a story of strange behavior in the simulation of molecular machines. One commenter asked if this was due to something unusual in the starting configuration of the atoms. This was the first thing we investigated, and didn’t seem to be the case. There was a small amount to strain energy in [...]

A cautionary note

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on June 12th, 2009

One of the constraints laid down by DARPA at the recent Physical Intelligence proposers workshop was that the model of intelligence that was to be proposed had to have a physical implementation. It seemed odd to some of the attendees that this should be a hard constraint, since many models of intelligence have a perfectly [...]

Memories: nanotech?

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on May 22nd, 2009

Some interesting developments in memories: This Nanowerk story reports results out of Alex Zettl’s group at Berkeley on a memory cell that consists of an iron nanoparticle which can be moved back and forth in a nanotube. More information on this can be found at Zettl’s site here. This memory, like someother nanotech schemes, relies [...]

Bat Wings

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on April 23rd, 2009

Evolution has adapted what were the bones of the fingers of the bat’s ancestors to form the skeleton of its wing. Similarly, in technology, when one element of a system is capable of expanding to take up new functions, it can substitute for what might have been expected to be different ways to achieve the [...]

Graphene edges closer to atomically precise nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 15th, 2009

Two papers in a recent issue of Science suggest that graphene is rapidly moving from being “just” a nanotech wonder material to becoming relevant to atomically precise nanotechnologies.

Singularity, part 6

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on March 5th, 2009

This the sixth essay in a series exploring if, when, and how the Singularity will happen, why (or why not) we should care, and what, if anything, we should do about it. Part VI: The heavily-loaded takeoff The fastest software I ever used ran on some of the slowest computers I ever had. Circa 1980, [...]

Optimizing hierarchical protein design for nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 6th, 2009

New computational results reveal how the proper hierarchical assembly of smaller protein domains optimizes mechanical properties.

How to specify semiconductor or metallic graphene for use in nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 4th, 2009

Computer simulations have shown that graphene deposited on a silicon dioxide surface will be either a semiconductor or a metal depending on whether the underlying layer is terminated with oxygen atoms or passivated with hydrogen atoms.

Nanotechnology could introduce flaws into carbon nanotubes to build circuits

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 19th, 2008

Computational nanotech studies have shown that deliberate introduction of structural defects at specific sites in carbon nanotubes can guide electrons along specific paths, providing a way to fabricate complex electronic circuits from nanotubes.

Tunneling electrons could power nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 15th, 2008

Molecular dynamics simulations show that electron tunneling through nanoscale rotary motors based on carbon nanotube shafts may enable nanotech motors to rotate more than a million times faster than their biological counterparts.

Nanotechnology researcher to receive Sackler Prize in Biophysics

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 27th, 2008

Dr. David Baker, who with Dr. Brian Kuhlman was awarded the 2004 Foresight Nanotech Institute Feynman Prize for Theory, will be one of three winners of the 2008 Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Biophysics. Dr. Baker has been featured on Nanodot posts this year for inviting online gamers to aid in protein design [...]

Mechanosynthesis with AFM as a step toward advanced nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 6th, 2008

Robert A. Freitas Jr. brings to our attention a major step on the road to advanced nanotech, published a couple weeks ago in Science (abstract). He writes: This paper reports purely mechanical-based covalent bond-making and bond-breaking (true mechanosynthesis) involving atom by atom substitution of silicon (Si) atoms for tin (Sn) atoms in an Sn monolayer [...]

Computational nanotechnology designs more efficient material for solar cells

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 22nd, 2008

Combining electrically conductive polymers, transition metal atoms, and spin-coating to form thin films could lead to solar cells with two major advantages that would make them more efficient at converting light to electricity.

Calculating the role of Casimir forces in nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 3rd, 2008

Swedish scientists have developed a computer program to calculate Casimir forces between various types of nanostructured materials, which may help to determine whether significant friction problems exist in specific designs.

Nanotechnology roadmap draws attention for importance of nanosystems design

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 22nd, 2008

On the Editor’s Page at Medical DeviceLinkCom, Shana Leonard writes about the crucial need for design and modeling techniques to guide nanosystems development toward fabrication, and cites the Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems. From “A Different Kind of Intelligent Design” Drawing from numerous workshops held from 2005 to 2007, Battelle (Columbus, OH) and the Foresight [...]

Measuring picometers to advance nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 28th, 2008

A recent review describes the advantages to nanotech of advances in electron microscopy that allow mapping electron states localized at or between atoms.

Atomically precise nanotechnology leading to new catalysts

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 14th, 2008

The emerging ability to control the sizes of these clusters to atomic precision affords new opportunities for designing novel catalysts.

A molecule printer for nanotechnology based on spinning carbon nanotubes

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 16th, 2008

Atoms or molecules could be pumped through the spinning inner CNT to form patterns of atoms or molecules—a nanotech inkjet printer.