Beyond nanomanufacturing, Bottom-to-bottom nanotechnology

Those of you looking for insights on atomically-precise manufacturing may want to check out the Society of Manufacturing Engineers conference August 23-24, 2006 in Oak Ridge, TN: The Next Industrial Revolution: Nanotechnology & Manufacturing.

In addition to plenty of coverage on near-term “top-down” nanomanufacturing, this meeting includes “bottom-up” assembly topics. Some speakers familiar to Foresight members:

Keynote: Toward Instant Manufacturing
J. Storrs Hall, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Institute for Molecular Manufacturing and Author of Nanofuture: What’s Next for Nanotechnology
One of the best-established trends in technology has been the reduction in size of capital equipment, its increased proximity to the end user, and the shortened latency for user interaction. The building-sized steam engines of the industrial revolution became chainsaw motors. The room-sized computers and printing presses of the 1950s became desktop PCs and printers. The future of this trend will be examined, as the “fab labs” of today become the personal nanofactories of tomorrow, and to envision what lies beyond, as size, distance, and latency push on toward zero.

Tihamer Toth-Fejel will speak on “bottom-to-bottom” manufacturing techniques for “assembling modular molecular building blocks into nanotools that build other nanotools”, while Chris Phoenix will sketch a pathway to full molecular manufacturing. A new name to us, Michael Simpson, is giving a talk that also sounds interesting.

Yes, it may be hot in Tennessee in August, but you’ll be indoors anyway. U.S. citizens should be sure to sign up soon for the tour of the Center of Nanophase Materials Sciences and Spallation Neutron Source Laboratory at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. [Apologies to citizens of other countries — it’s not clear to me why these facilities must be so restricted…] —Christine

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