Given our interests in both nanotechnology and open source, we are happy to see that Wikibooks has an open-content textbook called The Opensource Handbook of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. It includes not just text, but also demonstration experiments and media files. This online book was voted Wikibook of the Month for December 2006. Excerpt on molecular nanotechnology:
Molecular nanotechnology (MNT) is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale. An equivalent definition would be “machines at the molecular scale designed and built atom-by-atom”. This is distinct from nanoscale materials. Based on Richard Feynman’s vision of miniature factories using nanomachines to build complex products (including additional nanomachines), this advanced form of nanotechnology (or molecular manufacturing) will make use of positionally-controlled mechanosynthesis guided by molecular machine systems. MNT would involve combining physical principles demonstrated by chemistry, other nanotechnologies, and the molecular machinery of life with the systems engineering principles found in modern macroscale factories. Its most well-known exposition is in the books of K. Eric Drexler.
Formulating a roadmap for the development of MNT is now an objective of a broadly based technology roadmap project led by Battelle (the manager of several U.S. National Laboratories) and the Foresight Institute.
Don’t just read it — if you can, help make it better. —Christine