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Foresight Integration Conference explored integration of nanodevices and materials into more complex systems

Foresight Update 27.01—February 28, 2014
ISSN 1078-9731

Nanotech News

Discuss these news stories at

In this issue:

Better nanoswitches by integrating double and triple strand DNA

The road from simple nanomaterials and nanodevices to atomically precise manufacturing will involve integrating these simple components into ever more complex and capable systems. … [An] advance from researchers in Rome, Santa Barbara, and Montreal that integrates two basic interactions that have been exploited in DNA nanotechnology—Watson–Crick base pairing and triplex-forming Hoogsteen interactions—to form more sensitive and accurate nanoswitches. …

Integrating DNA nanotechnology and RNA to transport nanoparticles along nanotubes

Another recent nanotechnology research advance … is the combination of a DNA walker motor, RNA fuel, a carbon nanotube track, and a nanoparticle cargo, all mimicking the biological molecular machinery of protein motors using ATP fuel to walk along microtubule tracks (also made of protein) inside cells. …

RNA nanotechnology - fewer structures in living cells than in test tubes

[An] approach to creating the 3D molecular architectures that will be important for both current applications and the eventual development of high-throughput atomically precise manufacturing systems … is RNA nanotechnology, which provides a great variety of complex 3D structures. A new combination of computational and experimental approaches helps to identify which of these numerous conformations are likely to be useful. …

2014 Foresight Technical Conference: Sessions and Speakers

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

Keynote Speakers:
Meyya Meyyappan, Chief Scientist for Exploration Technology, NASA Ames Research Center
Paolo Gargini, ITRS Chairman, Former Intel VP of Technology Strategy
Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director of Draper, Fisher, Jurvetson

Planned Sessions include:
Strategy, Analysis and Simulation
Bionano Systems
Commercially Implemented Nanotechnology
Electronic and Optical Nanosystems
Self-Organizing & Adaptive Systems

New Report: Nano-solutions for the 21st century

A recently released technology report titled Nano-solutions for the 21st century outlines nanotech-based solutions to global challenges. Several years in the making, the report was co-authored by Dennis Pamlin, Research Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Research Center for Sustainable Development (RCSD web site currently in Chinese only), and Eric Drexler, Academic Visitor with the Oxford Martin School’s Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology and author of Radical Abundance. The report has a strongly international perspective, and the Abstract is presented in both English and Chinese. …

Open Access journals for nanotechnology and other topics

One of the frustrating aspects of covering an emerging interdisciplinary technology like nanotechnology on a low budget is that some of the most interesting research is sequestered behind a pay wall. Press releases and abstracts usually do not provide enough depth to really appreciate what was done. Some authors make their papers available on their own web sites, and in many cases emailing a request to the corresponding author will result in receipt of a complementary PDF. Another great help in keeping abreast is the growing list of Open Access journals. …

Molecular Folding Science: the Future of Architectural Biomimicry at the Atomic Scale by Ronald Zuckermann at the 2014 Technical Conference: Integration

Precisely folded proteins are Nature’s machinery: 3D molecular architectures, that are responsible for essential functions like molecular recognition and catalysis. In order to utilize these molecules under ever-more demanding conditions for urgent medical, environmental and energy-related problems, attempts are being made to synthesize robust and completely artificial protein-like structures. …

Advanced technologies by design

Design and prediction are integral to Atomically Precise Manufacturing and its development. This is in part because fully functional APM can be readily explored computationally today, to levels of precision that cannot be experimentally developed today. In such a context, design is not just a resource but an approach. …

Ultra fast, ultra low energy transistors in Electronic and Optical Nanosystems, 2014 Foresight Technical Conference: Integration

Dr. Reza Arghavani is the Managing Director of Technology for LAM Research Corporation. He will be speaking on the realization of nanotechnology approaching the atomic scale that underpins the ultra fast, ultra low energy transistors of the 22nm node devices on sale today and the challenges for creating the even more demanding, smaller, faster and lower power devices of the future as we approach the limits of design. …

Rolith wins 2013 Best Manufacturing Technology Award for Printed Electronics Industry. Boris Kobrin to speak at 2014 Technical Conference: Integration

… Boris Kobrin, the founder of Rolith, will be joining us at the 2014 Foresight Technical Conference to speak on the topic of Commercially Implemented Nanotechnology. Boris brings over 25 years of experience in semiconductors and optics, micro and nano fabrication processes and equipment technologies. In addition he has also had success in building eight cutting-edge technology companies in the US, Israel and Canada. …

—Nanodot posts by Stephanie C., Candice, 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

Conference Co-Chairs:
Rob Meagley, Founder, ONE Nanotechnologies
William A. Goddard, Director, Materials and Process Simulation Center, Caltech

Roadmap Keynote: The Roadmap to Success
Paolo Gargini, ITRS Chairman, Former Intel Fellow and Director of Technology Strategy
Entrepreneurship Keynote: Disruptive Innovation and Accelerating Change
Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director of Draper, Fisher, Jurvetson
Integration Keynote: Nanotechnology: Development of Practical Systems and Nano-Micro-Macro Integration
Meyya Meyyappan, Chief Scientist for Exploration Technology NASA Ames Research Center
Government Keynote: Nanomanufacturing: Emergence and Implications on U.S. Competitiveness, the Environment, and Human Health
Timothy M. Persons, Chief Scientist, U.S. Government Accountability Office

"Integration" was the theme of the 2014 Foresight Technical Conference, and the invited speakers covered a broad range of scopes. Within the human scope, topics included the integration of nanoscale technologies into social, political, and economic spheres. Within the technical scope, topics included the integration of atomic and molecular parts into nanoscale structures and devices, as well as into existing and projected commercial products. The following comments derive mainly from technical-scope topics.

There were a number of striking examples of integration on the technical level, including this year's winner of the Feynman Prize for Experimental work, Alex Zettl of UC Berkeley. His functional radio system that exploits the oscillations of a single carbon nanotube may have applications in single atom detection as well. Advancing towards quantum computing and devices, Michelle Simmons of University of New South Wales described her fabrication process that uses a combination of atomic placement and tightly localized chemical transfers that position individual atoms in predictable locations leading to, for example, precise alignment of a single row of dopant atoms in a 3D silicon framework.

On the solution-phase front, strides in directed self-assembly and self-organizing processes that are leading to products with more structural and functional specificity and controllability were presented. These are cases where bulk-scale fabrication methods can produce atomically precise products, the advantages of which are well understood by this audience. An aspect that has perhaps been underappreciated thus far is the potential impact of nanoscale structural characteristics alone (including size, dimension, and other static, physical properties), which appear to have unique and directly exploitable value in both medical and technological applications, including structure-regulated drug delivery and filtration. In a remarkable medical example, recent work suggests that matching a native tissue’s stiffness can allow nanoscale structures to deliver unprecedented localized therapeutic effects.

Tapping into both human and technological scopes, a number of talks focused on new laboratory facilities designed to be shared across government, academic, and private enterprises specifically for research on the nanoscale. The goal: to remove an existing bottleneck to innovation posed by lack of access to highly specialized and expensive equipment, such electron microscopes, and/or the expertise to use them. In the true spirit of collaboration, some of the talks were presented by two co-speakers.

Looking toward the near future, metrology was emphasized as a key bottleneck to progress in nanoscale fabrication. Access to equipment is one aspect of the bottleneck that may be addressed by the emergence of shared-access facilities, but the technical bottleneck is a separate problem. A number of speakers discussed advanced etching techniques achieving features in the 6-15 nm size range and noted that technology to adequately image these products is falling behind. This problem was not unforeseen – a metrology shortfall was discussed in the 2006 Nanotechnology Roadmap, which accounted for a convergence of top-down and bottom-up fabrication processes. Adequate metrology will be critically needed for products in this size regime regardless of the particular fabrication process in play.

This brings to mind the familiar question: Who should be listening to calls for action and taking action? Staying within this year’s theme, Congressman Michael Honda, who gave opening remarks at the conference, spoke of the challenge of integrating scientific expertise into policy making. This challenge is not new and holds its complexity even as nanoscale R&D grows globally and strides towards APM accelerate.

In keeping with last year's conference (focused on Atomic Precision), there was a sense of energy, momentum, and collegiality throughout the weekend that speakers and attendees alike noted as unique.

—Stephanie Corchnoy, PhD

2013 Foresight Institute Prize Winners Announced

The 2013 Feynman Prize winners have been announced: for Experiment, Alexander K. Zettl, Professor, Condensed Matter Physics And Materials Science, U.C. Berkeley, and Senior Scientist, Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; for Theory, David N. Beratan, R.J. Reynolds Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics, Duke University. The awards were presented at the 2014 Foresight Technical Conference: Integration, held February 7-9, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel, Palo Alto, CA USA, where the winners gave lectures on their groundbreaking work to leading scientists in the field of nanotechnology.

The 2013 Distinguished Student Award winner was Jonathan C. Barnes, a PhD student with Professor Fraser Stoddart in the Chemistry Department at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The award was presented at the 2014 Foresight Technical Conference: Integration, held February 7-9, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel, Palo Alto, CA USA

Foresight 2013 Challenge Grant

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