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IBM developing directed molecular self-assembly to make 3D transistors

Foresight Update 28.03—March 13, 2015
ISSN 1078-9731

Nanotech News

Discuss these news stories at

In this issue:

Targeted nanoparticles deliver molecules to resolve atherosclerotic inflammation

… This [article] exemplifies the use of atomically precise elements from biotechnology and chemistry incorporated into non-atomically precise but increasingly sophisticated nanostructures to advance one application area—medicine. In this case the area of medical interest is the number one cause of death in the industrial world: cardiovascular disease. …

Atomically precise manufacturing as the future of nanotechnology

Continuing the theme of our previous post, is the idea of atomically precise manufacturing as the future of nanotechnology accruing credibility in the blogosphere? Over at Gizmodo Jamie Condliffe asks “What Will the Future of Molecular Manufacturing Really Be Like?” …

Are nanorobots and atomically precise manufacturing becoming mainstream nanotechnology?

Two months ago we noted renewed interest in the prospects of atomically precise manufacturing originating from outside the community of those usually interested in advanced nanotechnology. The writer we cited gave an excellent overview of the prospects based on Eric Drexler’s Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization, published in 2013, and on Productive Nanosystems: A Technology Roadmap, published by Battelle Memorial Institute and the Foresight Institute in 2007. Three more articles appeared the past few weeks. …

Small, fast, electrically-driven nanomotors

In a post here a number of years ago then-Foresight President J. Storrs Hall commented on the power density that nanomotors based on advanced nanotechnology are expected to have—on the order of a megawatt in a cubic millimeter. How is current research in nanomotors progressing? …

Designing mechanical functions into DNA nanotechnology

Recently we pointed to work at Ohio State University that demonstrated programmed complex motions in simple molecular machines fabricated using scaffolded DNA origami. This accomplishment was the fruit of their systematic effort to implement macroscale engineering design principles in DNA molecular machinery. This past month they published a review of their approach …

Nanotechnology making 3D transistors by directed molecular self-assembly

Three years ago Australian and American physicists created a working transistor from a single atom using a scanning tunneling microscope to precisely remove individual hydrogen atoms from the surface of a silicon crystal. Such technology provides a valuable laboratory demonstration of something close to the ultimate limits of computer technology, but a path from laboratory demonstration to economical fabrication of commercial quantities of circuit components remains a very challenging research goal. However, on a scale one or two orders of magnitude larger than atomic precision, but with the added advantage of building in three dimensions rather than being limited to a surface, physicists at IBM are developing “directed self-assembly” to use a certain type of polymer molecule to push current photolithography further into the low nanometer-scale realm. …

—Nanodot posts by James Lewis

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