Foresight Activities > Foresight Conferences > The 1st Adv. Nanotech. Conf. > Abstracts

Pathway to Diamond-Based Molecular Manufacturing

Robert A. Freitas Jr.*

Institute for Molecular Manufacturing
Los Altos, CA 94022 USA

This is an abstract for a presentation given at the
1st Conference on Advanced Nanotechnology:
Research, Applications, and Policy


The main impediment to molecular manufacturing today is the lack of an experimental procedure for routinely and precisely building objects, atom by atom, at the molecular scale. The key to this is molecular positional assembly, or mechanosynthesis — the formation of covalent chemical bonds using precisely applied mechanical forces. After a brief description of the various diamond surfaces, I will describe a specific dimer placement tool that has been extensively investigated for diamond mechanosynthesis using various computational methods. This tool appears to be stable in isolation, and should be able to deposit carbon dimers on a diamond C(110) surface as required, during room temperature operation.

Next, I present a preliminary proposal for a four-step experimental process by which this dimer placement tool, along with its associated macroscale handle structure, could be fabricated using presently-available bulk-chemistry techniques. My new tool fabrication process is the subject of the first (provisional) patent ever written on diamond mechanosynthesis, filed in February 2004. If a practical dimer placement tool can be built in this manner, it will allow the fabrication of improved dimer placement tools, thus opening up the entire field of molecularly-precise diamond fabrication — and, indeed, molecular machine manufacturing — to practical laboratory experimentation.

Abstract in Microsoft Word® format 100,166 bytes

*Corresponding Address:
Robert A. Freitas Jr.
Institute for Molecular Manufacturing
P.O. Box 605, Pilot Hill, CA 95664 USA

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