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Foresight Update 50

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A publication of the Foresight Institute

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Forum on Nanotechnology Strategy

Training for Decision Makers

With laboratories producing exciting results in nanoscale science and technology, governments pouring money into basic and applied research, and investors stepping up to bet on successful commercialization, there are places to go to hear about the latest research, and for scientists, entreprenuers, and funders to meet. But where do decisions makers for large companies and government organizations go to learn about the strategic impact of nanotechnology on their organizations?

Foresight Senior Associate Richard H. Smith, II (see Update 42 Foresight Profile), a professional futurist and an analyst of science and technology policy with Alternative Futures Associates, has helped put together a forum to give senior decision makers the in-depth background and analysis needed to guide their organizations to cope and prosper as the impact of nanotechnology unfolds. The description of the forum is available at With a fee of $35,000, the forum is targeted to those organizations with a serious commitment to nanotechnology, and serious resources to match.

The Forum consists of four face-to-face conferences led by an outstanding faculty of researchers, business leaders, and policymakers; a web-based round-table with year-round targeted discussion areas and expert guest moderators; succinct issue papers for busy senior executives; and individualized consulting sessions to help members incorporate the wisdom obtained in the Forum into their strategic plans.

The Forum will allow members to invest their financial and human resources more wisely by giving them the analytical foundation for making better decisions as the impact of nanotechnology accelerates. With a year's worth of tools, contacts and training, members will be prepared to increase revenues and reduce costs both now and in the future. They will discover applications and products they would otherwise have missed or lost to competitors. They will form collaborations that will create immediate revenue opportunities. And they will be much better prepared to target the direction of their R&D efforts.

The Forum is both more expensive and more comprehensive than a series of conferences. But because of the shared costs it is hundreds of thousands of dollars less expensive than individualized consulting by professionals of equal skill, training, and experience. There is no futurist in the world with more experience or better credentials than AFA President and Foresight Senior Associate Clem Bezold, nor anyone with more experience in nanotechnology policy and the commercial implications of emerging technologies than AFA Senior Futurist and Foresight Senior Associate Richard Smith.

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10th Foresight Conference Held in Bethesda

Interdisciplinary gathering hears latest molecular nanotechnology

Continuing the strategy, begun in 2000 with the 8th Conference, of alternating between the West and East coasts, the 10th Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology in Bethesda, Maryland brought together 339 registered participants from 22 countries to focus on progress in molecular nanotechnology. The Conference ran from Friday morning, October 11, through Sunday afternoon, October 13, 2002, affording participants three days to present and discuss results, to defend and criticize experiments and theories, to bounce ideas off colleagues, to learn of the latest products and services to support their research and their companies, and to renew old friendships and make new contacts. From 39 speakers and 43 poster presentations, conference attendees learned the latest results from basic to applied science; from theoretical calculations to laboratory results with nanostructures, nanotubes, nanodevices and sensors, nanomaterials, self-assembled materials, and molecular machines — both biological and artificial. In addition to discussions of science, there was a panel on venture capital for nanotechnology funding featuring venture capital representatives active in nanotechnology. There was also a lunchtime presentation by Foley & Lardner on "Building a Solid Business and IP Foundation for Nanotech Companies."

Keynote Speaker Mildred S. Dresselhaus (right) and Invited Speaker Cees Dekker share stories after their talks—perhaps about nanowires or nanocircuits or navigating the funding maze. Cees Dekker and Mildred S. Dresselhaus

Many attendees elected to arrive a day early for one of two all-day tutorials given on Thursday. Tutorial attendees chose either the traditional Scientific Tutorial, for those with a substantial science background relevant to nanotechnology wanting to get oriented on recent research on key topics, or the new Basic Tutorial, a unique event for those wanting to get up to speed on the fundamentals of molecular nanotechnology: the basics of the technology itself, applications, near-term opportunities, and business scenarios.

The elegant facilities of the Hyatt Hotel at One Bethesda Metro provided a relaxing and beautiful environment for formal sessions and for socialization at the pre-conference Welcoming Reception on Thursday evening and the Poster Session Reception Friday evening. Optional events for further networking included a Senior Associate Reception Friday evening that afforded both Senior Associates and non-Senior Associates the opportunity to mingle and to learn more about Foresight's programs, and the Feynman Prize Banquet Saturday evening (see page 11). Those wishing to carry their discussions outside the hotel, or just take a brief break from the intense interactions at the Conference, had the many inviting activities and sights offered by the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area to choose from.

Many thanks to Conference Co-Chair Prof. Susan Sinnott of the Univ. of Florida, appearing relaxed and ready for a well-earned rest after three years as Tutorial Chair, Conference Co-Chair, and this year senior Co-Chair. Prof. James T. Spencer of Syracuse Univ. and Prof. Chris Gorman of North Carolina State Univ. will chair the 11th Conference next year. Susan Sinnott

The 10th Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology was expertly organized and ably chaired by Susan Sinnott, Department of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Florida, and James T. Spencer, Department of Chemistry, Syracuse University. After this year Prof. Sinnott will be retiring to "emeritus chair" status, while Prof. Spencer's co-chair for the 11th Conference will be Christopher B. Gorman, Department of Chemistry, North Carolina State University, chair of this year's Scientific Tutorial.

In summing up this year's Conference and looking forward to next year's, Prof. Gorman said, "I found it to be extremely informative and well organized conference that stimulated lots of interdisciplinary discussion about the emerging nanotechnology."

Other participants were also enthusiastic. Mark Albright, of the The Thought Feed, said, "The Foresight Conference is an excellent opportunity to get up-to-speed on much of the most promising nanotech-related research going on today." Conrad Masteron, NanoTex Foundation, Inc., said, "Application of the research was a common topic and added significant meaning to the research." Mark Dodson,, said, "A unique event. Perfect for solving and discussing novel technical problems." Kary B. Mullis, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry 1993, "One of the most interesting meetings this year."

Other comments from 2002 Conference attendees included: "Good interdisciplinary conference at the boundaries of several disciplines." "This is still the top nanotechnology conference!" "Even the talks outside of my field were interesting, and I learned about new science." "It was a great insight into the recent developments in nanotechnology and the opportunities in the industry."

For more information on the 10th Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology, visit
the archived home page:;
the abstracts of Conference presentations:;
the program schedule:;
the description of the tutorials: The 11th Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology will be held on the West Coast, with the date and venue to be announced by the end of 2002.

In addition to hearing talks, attendees of the 10th Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology found time to view an impressive group of poster presentations. Poster session partcipants
Poster session partcipants Poster session partcipants

Tutorials orient participants for Conference

The list of topics addressed at the Scientific Tutorial changes from year to year as the "hottest" research topics evolve, and this year those attending heard four extensive overviews focused on the electrical and optical properties of materials structured on the nanometer scale.

Dan Feldheim of North Carolina State University began with "Nanoparticle Synthesis, Structures and Potential Applications," pointing out that the synthesis of nanoparticles, colloidal particles of greater than 20 nm diameter, is actually almost as old as human civilization, having started with the use of colloidal particles of gold, cobalt, manganese, and iron as pigments. The fact that gold nanoparticles impart a ruby-red color is graphic proof of how the optical properties of materials can change drastically as changes in dimensions cause quantum confinement of electrons. Today various metallic and semiconductor nanoparticles find application in such diverse areas as lasers, electronics, catalysis, bioimaging, drug delivery, and even "barcodes" to identify and detect pathogens via immuno binding assays. During preparation, nanoparticles can be stabilized by electrostatic forces or by capping the nanoparticles with molecules that sterically block aggregation. Solution chemistry techniques can be supplemented with surfactant molecules or use of porous membranes as templates for electrodeposition. Nanoparticles can themselves serve as templates to produce shell-structured nanoparticles with profoundly altered optical properties. It is even possible to wire up individual nanoparticles to determine their electronic properties.

Larry Dalton of the University of Washington, with a tutorial on "Nano-Optical Materials and Nano-Optics," again emphasized how nanometer-level control of structure allows design of electronic and optical properties. Applying theories of electron and photon quantum confinement and control of molecular motion in nanostructures allows the design of structures in which organic molecule chromophores can be ordered in what is termed a "noncentrosymmetric" lattice. The forces provided by the designed nanostructure keep the chromophores ordered and positioned precisely in space, even against the natural tendency of the chromophore dipole-dipole interactions to destroy the noncentrosymmetric order. Having the proper order of the chromophores allows applied voltages to rapidly alter the index of refraction of light in those materials. This renders the materials electro-optic and makes them applicable to development of a wide range of new devices. Dendrimers turn out to be useful in achieving this ordering, and even in integration of electro-optic materials with other materials, such as semiconductors.

Mark Ratner of Northwestern University presented an energetic prospective on the potential of molecular electronics to rescue the computer industry when Moore's Law runs into difficulty circa 2011, at which time transistor feature sizes will get down to 50-70 nm. "The Theory of Molecular Electronics" began with describing how molecular properties are designed by designing the distances among particles, and how this is constrained by the arrangement of atoms within molecules, with examples ranging from junctions between carbon nanotubes and junctions between nanowires, to how electron orbitals in molecules determine electron transport in molecular circuits. As one example, Ratner went into detail about why the DNA molecule does not make a good wire (at least not for more than 50 nm).

"Experiments in Molecular Electronics and Molecular-Scale Sensing": Nongjian Tao of Arizona State University focused on satisfying the urgent need for better sensors by converting a molecular binding or recognition event directly to an electrical signal using as sensing elements an array of individually addressed nanowires that could easily be integrated with microelectronic devices. Examples included doped silicon nanowires, nanowires coated with molecules to which proteins would bind, or molecules to which hydrogen ions would bind. In these cases, molecular binding changes the surface charge density, which affects carrier density. Carbon nanotubes provided another example, in this case with the adsorption of different gases affecting electron transfer to or from the nanotube. Another: hydrogen gas binding to a palladium nanowire causing it to swell, changing its conductance.

Foresight Institute Chairman Eric Drexler; Institute for Molecular Manufacturing Chairman Neil Jacobstein and President David Forrest.
Eric Drexler, Neil Jacobstein, and President David Forrest

The Basic Tutorial was a new offering this year designed for those who wanted an overview of molecular nanotechnology and the important issues impacting its commercialization, rather detailed reviews at specific technical fields within the molecular nanotechnology arena.

Ralph C. Merkle of the Foresight Institute and Zyvex opened the Basic Tutorial with "What Is Nanotechnology: Arranging Atoms and Creating Health and Wealth," explaining the advantages that would accrue if we could arrange atoms in most of the ways permitted by physical law, get almost every atom in the right place, and could do this in a routine way to achieve manufacturing at costs not much greater than the costs of the raw materials and energy. After covering some basic terms and why positional assembly and self replication are keys to molecular manufacturing, Merkle surveyed some major impacts such capabilities would have.

K. Eric Drexler of the Foresight Institute considered "Nanotechnology in Perspective: History, Status and Prospects." Beginning with some observations about current research trends, he explained how these trends could be extrapolated to estimate the capabilities of technology during the next few decades. Drexler surveyed how we might get from here to there, and how the world might be transformed in terms of manufacturing capabilities and systems for computation, transportation, medicine, and security. Surviving this coming transition will mean meeting major challenges in public information and public policy.

Scott Mize of AngstroVision, Inc. and the Nanotechnology Opportunity Report has been tracking nanotechnology for more than 15 years and spoke of "Near-Term Commercial Opportunities in Nanotechnology." Key to understanding the opportunities in the short term (0-3 years) and the medium term (3-7) years is understanding the precursor to molecular nanotechnology — nanoscale engineering, which Mize took as "The technology of structuring and controlling matter on the scale of ~100 nm and below." A useful perspective is that the state of nanotech today is equivalent to the state of IT before the integrated circuit (the early 60's) and to the state of biotech before recombinant DNA (the early 70's). Near term opportunities for interdisciplinary development of products include smart materials, biomaterials, and smart drugs. Key technologies for near term product opportunities include nanotubes, fullerenes, nanoparticles, quantum dots for electronics and photonics, dendrimers, and soft lithography & nanoimprinting. Worldwide R&D funding in nanotech appears unprecedented — more than $2.2 billion annually from governments and about $2 billion from industry. The market is expected to grow from $30 million in 2001 to about $1 trillion by 2015. After a wide survey of specific product and market opportunities, Mize concluded that the nanotechnology industry is here today, although molecular nanotechnology is a long way off.

The Basic Tutorial concluded with a "Nanotechnology Business Scenarios Q & A" session led by Ed Niehaus, a business consultant and corporate director, and an advisor to the Foresight Institute. The scenarios began with a characterization of nanotechnology funding today as "Angel investors on the run; Venture Capital under pressure; government not too adventurous." Various scenarios were considered, including fragmentation, the possible emergence of a dominant sector, "backlash" from society arising from either articulate enemies or real disasters, or "investor backlash" arising from either failure of the boom to ignite or fallout from specific negative incidents.

A few Conference highlights

Keynote Speaker Mildred S. Dresselhaus of MIT began her talk "The Nanoscience of Nanotubes and Nanowire" with a consideration of the causes for the "Gold Rush" into nanotechnology. Her answer was that nanometer scale physics and chemistry might directly lead to smaller and faster transistors, stronger and lighter materials, instrumentation to speed gene sequencing, chemical agents to detect tumors, the ability to store the library of congress on a device the size of a sugar cube, and the opportunity for scientists and engineers in disparate fields to work together towards common goals. Placing the field in perspective, Dresselhaus traced the origins of nanometer scale physics and chemistry to a 1905 paper of Albert Einstein's that estimated the diameter of a sugar molecule as one nanometer. From Einstein to Richard Feynman's visionary 1959 talk "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom," to the discoveries during the 1980's and 1990's of scanning tunneling microscopes (STMs), buckyballs, nanotubes, and carbon nanotube field effect transistors, the visions have turned into advances.

Looking at nanotechnology as it exists today from a physicist's viewpoint, the exciting feature of nanostructures is that at scales less than about 30nm, quantum properties become dominant, leading to the discovery of new physics phenomena that affect many physical properties and promise applications in optics, electronics, thermoelectrics, magnetic storage, and NEMS (nanoelectromechanical systems). These unique properties are most easily realized with low dimensional systems, nanostructures that are quantum confined in one or more directions.

Noting a few of the contents of the "Nano Tool-Box," Dresselhaus first cited Soft Lithography, developed by George Whitesides and collaborators, in which elastomers are used to make an imprint of structural features (such as a self-assembled monolayer), and the imprint used to make a master that can replicate the features many times. A second approach is Dip Pen Lithography (developed by Chad Mirkin and collaborators), in which the pyramidal tip of an atomic force microscope is dipped into a liquid and then used to draw lines just a few dozen molecules wide and just one molecule thick with the liquid that adheres to the tip.

Much of Dresselhaus's attention was focused on nanowires, especially low-dimensional nanostructures of bismuth, prepared in several different ways to produce different nanostructures that have different properties due to different arrangements of the Bi atoms: for example, lines of Bi atoms drawn on a silicon surface with an STM tip, or nanowires prepared by self-assembly inside a nano-porous alumina template. The nanowires produced from the alumina template were as small as 7 nm in diameter and up to 50 - 100 micrometers in length, with the same crystal structure as bulk bismuth. Changing the diameter of the Bi nanowires changes the quantum confinement of the electrons so that while bulk Bi is a semimetal, the nanowires can be semiconductors. Of particular interest is the doping of Bi nanowires with antimony, which is isoelectronic with Bi. This is of particular interest for thermoelectric devices because the similar electronic structures permit electrons to pass freely while the phonons are scattered.

Another major focus of Dresselhaus's has been carbon nanotubes (CNT), with diameters typically in the range of 0.4 to 1 nm that produce a very strong quantum confinement of electrons. The hexagonal arrangement of the carbon atoms in the CNT (measured by the wrapping angle, or pitch of the helix) can have two different orientations (chiralities), armchair and zig-zg, that, along with the variation in diameter, yield CNT that are either metallic or (large-gap) semiconducting. CNT also have excellent mechanical properties, which are conserved on compression, in contrast to conventional carbon fibers, which fracture on compression. Of particular interest to Dresselhaus is Raman spectroscopy of CNT; eventually they were able to measure Raman spectra of single CNT molecules. They were able to show that certain features of the Raman spectrum of individual CNT are very sensitive to diameter and chirality, providing a way to correlate these crucial parameters with other electronic, transport, and mechanical properties. As Dresselhaus concluded, there is a big future in nano.

Cees Dekker of Delft University of Technology spoke on 'Single-Molecule Electronics from Carbon Nanotubes to DNA," and continued the theme of the unique electronic properties of CNT, with those of the proper chirality behaving as truly metallic quantum wires. By depositing individual CNT on nanofabricated electrodes, they were able to use an STM to study the energy levels in the CNT, effectively imaging the molecular wave function. By connecting individual CNT, Dekker and his colleagues were able to study electron transport. Thus they were able to show that the electrons are not strongly localized, but rather that the wave function extends over micrometers so that the CNT conduct in a quantum coherent fashion. Such experiments provide the capability to manipulate CNT to form devices. CNT can be manipulated with an atomic force microscope (AFM), even buckled to form a metal-semiconductor kink junction within a single CNT. This structure provides the basis for a room temperature single-molecule transistor, leading to the construction of logic circuits from CNT transistors. Carbon nanotubes are thus beautiful molecular wires and a variety of single nanotube molecular electronic devices have been demonstrated.

Turning to a very different molecule, Dekker's group has investigated claims that the DNA molecule conducts. Contradicting those claims, Dekker found DNA to be an excellent insulator. Nevertheless, DNA may have a critical role to play in molecular electronics as a way to assemble individual CNTs into circuits, on a much larger scale than using an AFM to assemble circuits, one at a time. In this capacity, DNA would contribute molecular recognition through its base-pairing to "program" the assembly of CNT into specific arrangements. Experiments are beginning using the DNA-like molecule PNA, which has an uncharged backbone so that it is easier to use in some solvent systems. Many pictures of CNTs and more details are available at the Molecular Biophysics Group web site:

Hicham Fenniri of Purdue University (left) described self-assembling, highly configurable, nanotube scaffolding, and Henry Hess of the University of Washington talked about devices made from biological motor proteins.
Hicham Fenniri Henry Hess

Hicham Fenniri of Purdue University focused on a very different type of nanotube: "Self-assembled rosette nanotubes with predefined chemical and physical properties." The basic architecture of these nanotubes is self-assembled and self-organized from a unit that is derived from the G-C base pair of DNA. These self-complementary subunits assemble into a six-member rosette, and these stack on themselves to form very long nanotubes, up to 100 micrometers in length, and 3.5 nm in diameter. The tubes can continue to self-organize into sheets. What these nanotubes lack in comparison to CNT in terms of mechanical and electronic properties, they make up with a large library of subunits and substituents that can be used to make a wide variety of nanotubes with very different and controllable physical and chemical properties. Because the assembly process has slow steps and fast steps and appears to be autocatalytic, it might be possible to manipulate the process to select nanotubes with pre-defined properties.

Henry Hess of the University of Washington is trying to integrate the molecular motor proteins that are found in Nature into molecular motors in artificial devices: "A piconewton-forcemeter assembled from kinesin and microtubules and other devices based on motor proteins." He and his collaborators work primarily with a motor protein named kinesin which moves various cargoes around inside cells by taking 8 nm-long steps along "tracks" of long tubular structures called microtubules. In cells, kinesin moves various molecules and larger structures along the cytoskeleton; for example, ferrying vesicles of neurotransmitters through nerve cells. The challenge is to use a motor protein to move a cargo within a device. The principal experimental approach of Hess and his collaborators is an "inverted motility assay," in which the kinesin molecules are immobilized on a substrate, such as glass, and they bind to microtubules floating above the substrate and move the microtubules around, passing them off from one kinesin molecule to another. Because the microtubules are labeled with a fluorescent marker, the way in which they are moved around is easily visible with a microscope.

Hess addressed three engineering challenges to be overcome to use the motor proteins effectively in NEMS or MEMS devices. The first problem is how to guide the motion along a pre-determined path. If the kinesin motor proteins are attached to an unpatterned surface, the movements of the microtubules are essentially random. However, if the surface has been patterned with one-micrometer deep channels, the microtubules move as determined by the pattern. The second problem is how to load and unload the cargo. Progress is being made by attaching the small molecule biotin to the microtubule and coating the cargo with the protein streptavidin, which binds very strongly to biotin. The third challenge is how to start and stop the movement. The solution here appears to be to cage the ATP molecules that provide the energy for the motor proteins in molecular structures that are sensitive to UV light; pulses of UV illumination thus provide pulses of movement.

The above techniques have been incorporated into a device Hess characterized as a "piconewton-forcemeter." As the kinesin molecules drive a long, flexible microtubule protein (attached to a cargo of a streptavidin-coated bead) over a surface, the bending of the microtubule provides a measure of the strength of the intermolecular interactions encountered. The molecular forces measured are a few piconewtons, at loading rates of less than a piconewton per second. This technique is particularly suited for the study of receptor-ligand binding in biology.

Taking inspiration from a very different kind of biological motor, Peixuan Guo of Purdue University described "Construction of viral DNA-Packaging Nano-motor of phi29" As part of the viral infection cycle, this bacterial virus packages its newly replicated double-stranded DNA, 6.6 micrometers long, into a 42 x 54 nm viral capsid. The viral motor doing this work is the strongest known nanomotor, with a stalling force of 67 pico-newtons. Using ATP as an energy source, the viral DNA is rapidly squeezed into the preformed empty virus particle to near crystalline density. The viral nanomotor consists of a protein connector and six RNA molecules, termed pRNA, that form a hexagon similar to a hex nut driving a bolt. The six-fold symmetric structure is embedded in a five-fold symmetric structure. Movement within this five-fold/six-fold symmetrical mismatch environment is thought to ensure a continuous rotation of the motor.

The six copies of the pRNA work in sequence to translocate the DNA into the capsid, somewhat like the cylinders of a car engine working in sequence. Guo reported that the nanomotor has been constructed with purified recombinant proteins and artificially synthesized RNA, and uses ATP as the source of energy for rotation. The motor could be turned on and off by adding or removing magnesium ions. Guo was able to mutate the pRNA and identify parts of the RNA molecule needed for ATP binding, which is essential to the function of the motor. The actual driving force for the motor is not yet know, but it is interesting to speculate that the energy derived from ATP might cause a conformation change in the pRNA that in turn causes the translocation.

Abstracts accepted for presentation at the 10th Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology are available on the Conference web site:

Original papers from 10th Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (

For additional coverage of the scientific presentations at the Conference, check two United Press International articles by Scott R. Burnell, available on the web: "Conference extols promise of nanotech" and "Nanotech finds biological inspiration".

Panel on Venture Capital for Nanotechnology

In addition to the scientific presentations, the Conference featured a panel discussion on nanotechnology funding featuring venture capital representatives active in nanotechnology. Chaired by Ed Niehaus, the panel included Bruce P. Mehlman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy, Office of Technology Policy, US Department of Commerce, Jennifer Fonstad, a Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Alex Wong, a Partner of Apax Partners, and Robert Hemphill, Managing Director of Toucan Capital. The panel addressed the question "Is there a funding gap for nanotechnology given the current market situation?"

From their perspective, the panelists saw substantial interest in funding good business plans. For more complete coverage of this consensus, including specific quotes of panelists, see the UPI article "Investors interested in nanotech."

There was concern expressed, however, that even if there was sufficient capital for the first (seed) round of funding, there might be a shortage of capital available to startup companies for the second round — after research results were in hand, but before there were customers and before a fully formed management team was in place. The investors who usually supply the second stage funding are now "much more focused on how far the product needs to travel from prototype to paying customers." In response, nanotech start-up companies are increasingly looking for initial investors able to "support them through the lifecycle," and some large investors are stepping up to the challenge. One result may be that "angels" and other non-institutional seed investors who can not afford to provide investing for the whole cycle will get squeezed out. For more complete coverage of this issue, including specific quotes of panelists, see the Small Times article "Go Long, Say Investors; Nano Needs Help Beyond the Line of Scrimmage."

11th Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology,
Oct. 9-12, 2003, San Francisco Airport Marriott, Burlingame, CA, USA.

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Foresight Update 50 - Table of Contents


Special Thanks to Our Corporate Sponsors

10th Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology
October 10-13 , 2002

Gold Level Sponsors

Sun microsystems logoMolecular electronic or nanodevices may find wide application in personal digital assistants, if power and size objectives can be met. Nanotechnology is an exciting, growing field, thanks in large part to Foresight Institute. Founded in 1982, Sun Microsystems is a leading supplier of UNIX servers. Sun uses state-of-the-art silicon CPU technology in its machines. Molecular electronics might offer a number of solutions in the form of fast, ultradense SRAM. Other applications include backing store and potentially dense logic.   Zyvex logoZyvex Corporation is the first molecular nanotechnology company. We are taking an assembly-based systems approach to integrating macro, micro, and nanodevices to the real world. Our mission is to be the industry leader in adaptable, affordable, molecular-scale manufacturing. Founded in 1997, Zyvex is creating a microsystem assembler, capable of handling and assembling a variety of micro-scale parts.

Silver Level Sponsors

Foley & Lardner logoFounded in 1842, Foley & Lardner is one of the oldest and largest law firms in America. The firm has more than 750 attorneys in 14 offices nationwide practicing in five departments: Business Law, Intellectual Property, Litigation, Regulatory, and Tax and Individual Planning. The firm's highly skilled intellectual property attorneys and law clerks constitute one of the largest and most sophisticated technology groups in an integrated, general-practice law firm in the United States. The list of clients using Foley & Lardner to fill their intellectual property legal needs ranges from small entrepreneurial start-up companies to large international and multinational corporations. Foley & Lardner attorneys provide solutions and successfully service the needs of clients around the world.   Howard Rice is a full-service law firm with creative lawyers who solve complex problems every day. We have built our nationwide reputation through anticipating and responding quickly to our clients' needs with innovative solutions. We have over 140 attorneys in San Francisco, serving clients in the United States and worldwide, dealing with every kind of problem, including startup businesses, intellectual property, e-commerce, venture capital, securities, international transactions, financial services and complex litigation.

  Sughrue Mion LLC logoWe protect ideas - all ideas - and for nearly half a century we have been helping our clients develop, obtain, protect and leverage property rights borne of their intellectual capital. From a submicroscopic sequence of DNA to a vast constellation of satellites circling the globe, from publicity rights to the goodwill of a universally known brand, this is the universe of ideas we explore. And when it comes to serving our clients, we go beyond traditional boundaries, advocating innovative theories and redefining the frontiers of law as they apply to creativity and invention.  

Bronze Level Sponsor

  Contributing Sponsors

American Scientific Publishers logoJournal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine. JNN publishes original research articles, short communications and timely state-of-theart reviews with author's photo and short biography. For more information, please visit JNN website at  

Texas Nanotechnology Initiative logoThe Texas Nanotechnology Initiative is a consortium of industries, universities, government agencies, venture capitalists, and individuals whose goal is to establish Texas as a world leader in the discoveries, development and commercialization of nanotechnology.

Institute for Molecular Manufacturing logoThe Institute for Molecular Manufacturing (IMM) is a nonprofit foundation formed in 1991 to carry out research to develop molecular manufacturing (molecular nanotechnology, or MNT). IMM also promotes guidelines for research and development practices that will minimize risk from accidental misuse or from abuse of molecular nanotechnology.

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Foresight Update 50 - Table of Contents | Page1 | Page2 | Page3 | Page4 | Page5

From Foresight Update 50, originally published 30 November 2002.

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