Foresight Nanotech Institute Logo

« Go Back

You are viewing
Foresight Archives

Image of nano
Foresight Activities > Foresight Conferences

Preliminary Program available in PDF format

1st Symposium on Molecular Machine Systems

October 22, 2004
Crystal City Marriott Hotel,
Washington, DC USA

Download the Symposium brochure in PDF format

Optional event:
2004 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize Banquet

Symposium is held as Day One of
1st Conference on Advanced Nanotechnology: Research, Applications, and Policy


  Molecular Nanotechnology Conference General
Molecular Nanotechnology Conference Program
Molecular Nanotechnology Conference Topics Covered
Molecular Nanotechnology Conference Abstracts
Molecular Nanotechnology Conference Conference Chairs
Molecular Nanotechnology Conference Sponsors
Molecular Nanotechnology Conference Keynote and Speakers
  Molecular Nanotechnology Conference Foresight Institute Feynman Prize
Molecular Nanotechnology Conference Communication Prize
Molecular Nanotechnology Conference Distinguished Student Award
Molecular Nanotechnology Conference Student Networking
Molecular Nanotechnology Conference Registration Information
Molecular Nanotechnology Conference Time, Place, Lodging, Travel
Molecular Nanotechnology Conference To Apply for a Press Pass


The 1st Symposium on Molecular Machine Systems will be held at the Crystal City Marriott Hotel in the Washington, DC area. The Symposium is held as Day One of the 1st Conference on Advanced Nanotechnology: Research, Applications, and Policy, October 22-24, 2004.

Rapid advances in our ability to image, manipulate, and probe the properties of matter at the atomic scale—together with emerging insights into structure, function and self-assembly in biological systems—are leading to the ability to build with atomic precision using molecular machine systems — an ability first recognized by Richard Feynman 45 years ago. In the decades to come, this powerful technology is expected to revolutionize virtually all physical technologies, with profound impacts on fields from medicine and the environment to transportation and homeland security. The 1st Symposium on Molecular Machine Systems will present research progress toward the design and construction of atomically-precise, artificial molecular machine systems, also termed molecular manufacturing.

Foresight Institute's first Conference on Nanotechnology, which pre-dated the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative by a decade, was the first comprehensive conference on the topic of nanotechology. Foresight-sponsored events continue to be a premiere venue for discussing new and innovative multidisciplinary research in molecular nanotechnology. Last year's conference, the 11th in the series, attracted researchers from academic, government, and industrial laboratories worldwide, and included papers from the electronics, medical, computing, and biological communities. The 12th Conference, to be held in 2005, will continue this level of excellence by providing a forum in which leaders from all disciplines delving into science and technology at the nanoscale can present and discuss their most recent results and ideas relevant to molecular nanotechnology.

In 2004, Foresight Institute continues its leadership in nanotechnology research dissemination by introducing a new conference series targeted specifically on the Feynman goal for nanotechnology: atomically-precise, artificial molecular machine systems. The 1st Symposium on Molecular Machine Systems (Day One of the full conference) focuses on experimental and theoretical research progress, with applications and funding being examined on Days Two and Three. Participants may register for one, two, or all three days.

Topics Covered

  • Introduction to molecular machine systems: Molecular physics plus systems engineering
  • Macromolecular design and synthesis: What is the state of the art in protein engineering, DNA engineering, 3D structures?
  • Scanning probe manipulation systems: What are the relevant techniques, and what do they enable?
  • Systems design: What do we now know about the implementation of molecular manufacturing systems? About their performance?
  • Modeling of molecular mechanical systems and mechanosynthetic operations: What are the techniques, and what do they enable from an engineering perspective?
  • Systems control: How will these complex systems be programmed? How can the outputs of manufacturing systems be constrained?
  • Technical readiness for molecular machine systems—a rough consensus
  • Rate of technological advance toward molecular machine systems

The 1st Symposium on Molecular Machine Systems covers the key topics required for an integrated understanding of designed molecular machine systems:

Products and goals

Nanostructures underlie all nanotechnologies. Their diverse physical, chemical and electronic properties determine what nanotechnologies can do. Nanomachines are nanostructures with moving parts; molecular machines are nanomachines with molecular-scale, atomically precise parts.

Nanomaterials gain special mechanical, optical, and electronic properties from their nanoscale structure. Nanomaterials constructed to atomic precision in three dimensions are expected to have unique properties.

Nanodevices — including sensors, transistors, actuators, and others — will be components first of early products, and later of advanced nanosystems.

Nanoelectronics is a natural extension of the microelectronic technologies of today, expected to be a crucial application of emerging nanotechnologies. Nanoelectronic devices and circuits constructed by molecular machine systems should enable extremely high performance.

Enabling technologies, tools, and parts

Sensors at the nanoscale can be used to recognize molecules and to probe the properties of surfaces and objects at the atomic scale.

Nanotubes provide strong, stiff building blocks with diverse electronic properties, suiting them for use in a wide range of molecular machine systems.

Biomolecular machinery evolved by nature — such as the bacterial flagellar motor and the actin-myosin system of muscle — has shown the feasibility of molecular machine systems and may provide prefabricated working components.

Scanning probe instruments have led the way in imaging and manipulating molecular structures on surfaces.

Computational chemistry enables designers of molecular systems to understand which designs will produce which results, helping produce devices that will function properly in systems.

Molecular machines produce controlled motion on a molecular scale. By bringing other molecules together in a controlled way, they will one day be used to control the sequences of chemical reactions that will enable molecular manufacturing of complex nanosystems.

Enabling sciences and principles

Supramolecular chemistry — by moving beyond the traditional concern with individual molecules to a focus on building larger structures from assemblages of molecules — is a key enabling technology for a wide range of atomically-precise nanosystems.

Self-assembly — the principle behind supramolecular chemistry and the assembly of the molecular machinery of living systems — is central both to many present-generation nanotechnologies and to anticipated pathways toward complex nanosystems.


Accepted Abstracts

Submission information:

There will be oral presentations and a poster session during the conference. The poster session will be held on Friday afternoon. On Saturday there will be additional time for viewing and discussion of the posters. All those who wish either to speak or to present a poster must submit an abstract. The abstracts should be no longer than 500 words including references and footnotes. Each submitted abstract may include only one graphic in jpg or gif format. The size should be no larger than 400 x 400 pixels (will be displayed at 72 dpi). Abstracts not in the appropriate format will be returned without being considered.

All accepted abstracts will be permanently available on the web at

Conference Chairs

William A. Goddard III
Professor of Chemistry and Applied Physics
Director, Materials and Process Simulation Center

Ralph Merkle
Distinguished Professor of Computing
Director, Georgia Tech Information Security Center
Georgia Tech


Foresight Institute and the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing

Corporate Sponsors

Draper Fisher Jurvetson  Sun logo
nanoTITAN logo  Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk and Rabkin logo

The Analytiq Group logo

Information about corporate sponsorship opportunities, or please contact the Foresight Institute

Media Sponsors

Nanotechnology Now logo


NanoApex logo

The Arlington Institute logo

Nanovip logo

NanoBot logo

Keynote and Speakers

Ray Kurzweil
Winner, National Medal of Technology

2004 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize Winners
Recipients of the Theory and Experimental prizes will be announced at the Feynman Prize Banquet


Nadrian Seeman, New York University, on three-dimensional DNA construction and computation
Christian Schafmeister, Stephen Habay, Christopher Levins, Paul Morgan, Sharad Gupta, Gregory Bird; University of Pittsburgh; on a synthetic approach to water soluble nanoscale molecules with controlled structures
Amar Flood and Fraser Stoddart, UCLA, on artificial molecular machines with mechanically interlocked components, via supramolecular assistance to covalent synthesis
David Baker, University of Washington, on designing stable protein structures with a specified backbone folding structure
William Goddard, Caltech, on modeling molecular machine parts and construction
Ari Requicha, University of Southern California, on nanorobotics and programmable assembly of molecular-size components by self-assembly and scanning probes
J. Storrs Hall, Molecular Engineering Research Institute and Nanorex Inc., on techniques for the modeling of molecular mechanical systems, and what these enable for the engineering of active nanosystems
Robert A. Freitas Jr., Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, on diamond mechanosynthesis
Tihamer Toth-Fejel, General Dynamics, on indirectly-replicating nanomachines: a kinematic cellular automata approach
Tad Hogg, HP Labs, on control of microscopic robotic systems with simulation examples from nanomedicine applications
K. Eric Drexler, Molecular Engineering Research Institute, on paths from current research to functional molecular machine systems
Ralph Merkle, Georgia Tech, on computational nanotechnology for molecular machine systems

2004 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize Winners

The winners of the Theory and Experimental prizes will be announced at the Feynman Prize Banquet.

Foresight Activities > Foresight Conferences

Foresight Programs


Home About Foresight Blog News & Events Roadmap About Nanotechnology Resources Facebook Contact Privacy Policy

Foresight materials on the Web are ©1986–2018 Foresight Institute. All rights reserved. Legal Notices.

Web site developed by Stephan Spencer and Netconcepts; maintained by James B. Lewis Enterprises.