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New method of imaging nanostructures to atomic resolution

Foresight Update 26.06—August 29, 2013
ISSN 1078-9731

Nanotech News

Discuss these news stories at

In this issue:

Warped graphene molecules offer new building blocks for nanotechnology

There has been a great deal of interest over the past few years in the properties of graphene, one-atom-thick sheets of trigonal carbon atoms. For the most part, the graphene sheets that have been studied are large on the molecular scale, irregular in their extent, and flat. Chemists have now synthesized distinct molecular species of grossly distorted graphene, somewhat more than one nanometer across, comprising 80 carbon atoms and 30 hydrogen atoms. …

Atomically Precise Manufacturing video

A select set of videos from the 2013 Foresight Technical Conference: Illuminating Atomic Precision, held January 11-13, 2013 in Palo Alto, have been made available on vimeo. … John Randall introduced the session on Atomic Scale Devices and discussed work at Zyvex Labs on “Atomically Precise Manufacturing”. …

Nanocrystal-in-glass composite controlled by voltage

The most fundamental dimension in the transition from current nanotechnology, which is mostly materials science and simple devices, to the advanced nanotechnology of productive nanosystems and atomically precise manufacturing will be the dimension of greater control of the structure of matter leading to atomic precision. But another important dimension is imbuing matter with intelligence. …

Improved molecular targeting via cellular automata

In simplest terms, cellular automata can be thought of as groups of ‘cells’ in which the state of an individual cell will flip depending on the states of its neighbors. A ‘cell’ can be a pixel, a molecule, etc. The mathematical rules associated with cellular automation are complex and have been applied to fields as diverse as computation and cryptography to patterns of pigment in seashells. Now researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City and Columbia University have used an analogous system of molecular cascades to select for particular biological surfaces, taking new steps towards medical therapeutics that use multiple recognition events to improve molecular targeting. …

Molecular sponges give atomic structures of trace substances

Ever since Richard Feynman lamented in his 1959 talk “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” that the electron microscope failed by two orders of magnitude to image individual atoms, a general method of imaging nanostructures to atomic resolution has been an integral part of the Feynman vision … X-ray crystallography has been the gold standard for obtaining atomically precise structures for proteins and other nanostructures, but this method requires substantial amounts of crystalline material, and not all proteins, and certainly not all nanostructures, are available in crystalline form. … However, another option is now available. …

Nanoscale box aids single-molecule optical detection

… Across a broad range of technologies and size regimes, boxes serve as containers for components, barriers against contaminants and/or radiation, and, as in the case of cell membranes, can be permeable to allow selected interactions between the interior and exterior. In a recent advance in optical detection, a nanoscale box-like housing was used to create an aperture that greatly enhanced the ability of antenna structures to detect single molecules at physiological concentrations. …

—Nanodot posts by Stephanie C. and James Lewis

Foresight Events and News


17th Foresight Conference: "The Integration Conference"
February 7-9, 2014
Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel, Palo Alto
Silicon Valley, California, USA

Over 20 speakers will present their research and vision within the realm of groundbreaking atomic- and molecular-scale science and engineering with application across a wide range of advanced technologies, including materials, electronics, energy conversion, biotechnology and more. Events will include presentation of the annual Foresight Institute Feynman Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in nanoscale science and technology.

Integration: The development and proliferation of nanotechnology through its applications in diverse fields are dependent upon the successful integration of nano-engineered devices and materials ("nanosystems") into more complex micro- and macro-systems. Thus, this year the concept of Integration is highlighted, for the successful integration of nanosystems can impact the rate of development, application, and ultimately benefit.

Analysis, simulation, synthesis, and mass production are challenges for nanotechnology integration in such diverse applications as biotechnology, medicine, microelectronics, defense, energy conversion and storage, coatings, textiles, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and even food and food security.

Conference Co-Chairs
Robert P. Meagley, CEO/CTO, ONE Nanotechnologies
William A. Goddard III, Director, Materials and Process Simulation Center, Caltech

Planned Sessions include:

  • Analysis and Simulation
  • Bionano Systems
  • Commercially Implemented Nanotechnology
  • Electronic and Optical Nanosystems
  • Self-Organizing & Adaptive Systems

Look for further details on the conference, speakers, and events in the coming weeks and months. Registration will open in mid-September.

2013 Feynman Prize and Student Award Nominations Are Open

Nominations for the 2013 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes: Experimental and Theory, and for the 2013 Foresight Institute Distinguished Student Award are due on September 30, 2013. More information and details for nominating yourself or someone else can be found at

Conference Videos Available on Vimeo

Videos of approximately half of the talks given at the 2013 Foresight Technical Conference: Illuminating Atomic Precision, held January 11-13, 2013 in Palo Alto, CA are available on Vimeo. (All postings are with the speaker’s consent only. Some of the presentations contained confidential information and will not be posted.)

Foresight Lectures

7th Annual SAP CEO Summit
Oct. 22-23, 2013 New York City
Christine Peterson will speak on nanotechnology and synthetic biology as part of a plenary panel on Innovation Futures, addressing how these fields are opening up new areas of commercial innovation, and how governments and corporations should respond.

About the Foresight Institute
Foreseeing Future Technologies

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Since 1986, the Foresight Institute has been in the forefront of a worldwide community of visionaries who work to help shape these possibilities into a positive, beneficial reality.

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