Home > Press > Nanotech: Moving Closer to a Manufacturing Revolution
Molecular Manufacturing: What, Why and How
Nanotech: Moving Closer to a Manufacturing Revolution
New York, NY | May 17, 2005
Nanotechnology's long-expected transformation of manufacturing has just moved closer to reality. A new analysis of existing technological capabilities, including proposed steps from today's nanotech to advanced molecular machine systems, was released today by the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology.
The study, "Molecular Manufacturing: What, Why and How," performed by Chris Phoenix, CRN Director of Research, is available online at Wise-Nano.org. It shows how existing technologies can be coordinated toward a reachable goal of general-purpose molecular manufacturing.
"Molecular manufacturing offers a fundamentally new approach to build things 'from the bottom up'," said Phoenix. "The idea is to use nanoscale machines to create structures with atomic precision. Ultimately, that can result in the ability to make complex products, both small and large, with unprecedented performance and value."
Theories and concepts for molecular manufacturing, first proposed in the 1980's by nanotechnology pioneer K. Eric Drexler, have improved steadily since then. But recent progress is occurring at a faster pace. Less than two years ago, Phoenix published the first detailed architecture for a "nanofactory," a remarkably powerful general-purpose manufacturing appliance that could sit on a desktop. Since then, Drexler, working with John Burch, has developed an improved design that should be significantly more efficient.
Recent developments in DNA synthesis and polymer construction, plus advances in miniaturization and precision of scanning probe microscopes, are rapidly adding pieces to the nanotech jigsaw puzzle.
This new study puts the pieces in place. Presenting research performed by CRN under a grant from NASA's Institute for Advanced Concepts, while also updating and combining existing work in related fields, it describes a newly simplified way to develop molecular manufacturing starting with today's technology.
Phoenix describes two approaches for building the initial basic tools with current technology. Other sections outline incremental improvement from those early tools toward the first integrated nanofactory, and analyze a scalable architecture for a more advanced nanofactory. Product performance and likely applications are discussed, as well as incentives for corporate or government investment in the technology. Finally, considerations and recommendations for a targeted development program are presented.
"We've done an end-to-end analysis of molecular manufacturing's goals as well as some ways to get there," said Phoenix. "More important, this study shows that development of the technology will be both highly desirable and relatively straightforward. It's probably not as far away as many people think, which means it's time to begin discussing the ramifications, both positive and negative."
"Molecular Manufacturing: What, Why and How" does not directly address the societal, environmental, medical, economic, military, security, and geopolitical implications of the technology's introduction. However, those topics are explored in other papers and articles on CRNís website.
This release is posted online, here.
The full study is available, here.
About The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology:
The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology is headquartered in New York. CRN is a non-profit think tank concerned with the major societal and environmental implications of advanced nanotechnology. We promote public awareness and education, and the crafting and implementation of effective policy to maximize benefits and reduce dangers. CRN is an affiliate of World Care, an international, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.
For more information visit CRNano.org
Director of Research
Copyright © The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
If you have a comment, please Contact
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
Air Forceís 30-year plan seeks 'strategic agility' August 1st, 2014
IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014
Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014
Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014
Optimum inertial design for self-propulsion: A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines July 29th, 2014
Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster: University of Leicester research team unlocks insights into creation of new nano-materials July 25th, 2014
NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014
University of Illinois researchers demonstrate novel, tunable nanoantennas July 14th, 2014
Nanodiamonds Are Forever: A UCSB professorís research examines 13,000-year-old nanodiamonds from multiple locations across three continents August 27th, 2014
Aspen Aerogels, Inc. to Present at Barclays CEO Energy-Power Conference August 27th, 2014
Nanotech Security Corp. to Acquire Fortress Optical Features Ltd., a Leading Producer of Banknote Security Features August 27th, 2014
Malvern specialists to deliver inaugural short course on polymer characterization at Interplas 2014 August 27th, 2014