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Computational neural networks:
a general purpose tool
for nanotechnology

S.A. Meyer*(a), M. Morgenstern(a), J.A. Darsey(b),
D.W. Noid(c), B.G. Sumpter(c)

          (a)Department of Chemistry, Colorado State College
(b) Department of Chemistry, University of Arkansas, Little Rock
(c) Oak Ridge National Laboratory

This is an abstract for a poster to be presented at the
Fifth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.
There will be a link from here to the full article when it is available on the web.


A computational scheme which utilizes neural networks was developed to predict properties of nano-structured materials and optimization and control of nano-devices. Using a set of simple algorithms to encode the structure and composition of the material directly into numerical vectors neural network modules can correlate these numeric inputs with a set of desired properties. Calculated results for a series of hydrocarbons, fluorohydrocarbons, amines, and crown ethers demonstrate average accuracies of 0.2-8.1% with maximum deviations of 16-20% for a broad range of thermodynamic, physical, biological (toxicity: human and environmental) and physical-chemical characteristics (heat capacity, enthalpy, heat of evaporation, boiling point, density, refractive index, stability constants, etc.). A molecular design tool based on the neural network capabilities of formulating accurate quantitative structure-property relationships is described. This technique, called computational synthesis, is capable of formulating the structure and composition of materials which will give a set of specified properties. In other applications, this technique has been proven useful in the reverse engineering of nano-fluidics and nano-motors.

Research sponsored by the Division of Materials Sciences, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE-AC05-96OR22464 with Lockheed-Martin Energy Research Corp.

*Corresponding Address:
Sally A. Meyer, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Chemical and Analytical Sciences Division
P. O. Box 2008, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6197
ph: (423) 574-4974, fax: (423) 576-5235, email:


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