Consortium for atomically precise manufacturing awarded $9.7 M to develop advanced nanotechnology

DARPA and a Texas fund have awarded $9.7M to investigate one nanotech path toward atomically precise manufacturing. Christine Peterson passes along this Zyvex press release from PRnewswire “Zyvex-led Atomically Precise Manufacturing Consortium Receives Award From DARPA and the State of Texas Emerging Technology Fund“:

Zyvex Labs today announced the award of a $9.7M program funded by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and Texas’ ETF (Emerging Technology Fund). The goal of this effort is to develop a new manufacturing technique that enables “Tip-Based Nanofabrication” to accelerate the transition of nanotechnology from the laboratory to commercial products. Starting with the construction of ‘one-at-a-time’ atomically precise silicon structures, the Consortium initially plans to develop atomically precise, ‘quantum dot’ nanotech-based products in volume at practical production rates and costs. Harnessing this capability will position the United States and Texas with the fundamental technology to develop next-generation quantum dot applications for military and commercial applications such as advanced communications, metrology, and quantum computers. The spin-off nanomanufacturing capabilities from that early application will result in revolutionary nanotech products in follow-on development.

…”We are extremely proud to receive this award,” said John Randall, Ph.D., Vice President of Zyvex Labs and Principal Investigator for the APMC research program. “The technologies developed by this program will be the first to allow robust three-dimensional solid structures to be created with atomic precision under computer control. While, historically, this falls in line with ongoing efforts throughout human history to improve manufacturing precision, it is revolutionary because it will achieve unprecedented precision by taking advantage of the quantized nature of matter.”

“DARPA is investing in breakthrough approaches to nanomanufacturing. Our goal is to develop the capability to fabricate nanostructures in such a way that we can control position, size, shape and orientation at the nanometer scale, which is not possible today,” said Tom Kenny, DARPA Program Manager. “If we can demonstrate this, we will be able to truly unlock the potential capabilities of nanotechnology.”

Coming only two months after the announcement that a UK laboratory was awarded $3M to investigate the possibility of diamond mechanosynthesis, the announcement that $9.7M has been awarded to a US consortium for atomically precise manufacturing is indeed welcome news for nanotech enthusiasts—especially for advocates of advanced nanotechnology, alternatively termed molecular manufacturing or productive nanosystems. Read the entire Zyvex Labs press release. Zyvex Labs is one of several companies formed from the April 2007 reorganization of Zyvex Corporation. John Randall was a member of the Steering Committee for the Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems and spoke at the conference a year ago that launched the roadmap. He also contributed several papers to the Working Group Proceedings (210 pages, 14.6 MB PDF). The main part of Productive Nanosystems: A Technology Roadmap (198 pages, 2.1 MB PDF) is also available and provides a wide overview of the challenges and opportunities of atomically precise manufacturing.

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