Long and medium term goals in molecular nanotechnology

These are the slides from the keynote talk given September 5th, 1997, at the Albany Conference on Biomolecular Motors and Nanomachines.


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Table of Contents

Long and medium term goals in molecular nanotechnology

Fifth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology November 5-8 Palo Alto, CA www.foresight.org/Conferences

Feynman quote

Molecular nanotechnology (a.k.a. molecular manufacturing)

What we can make today

What we want

Two ways to create new technologies:

Evolutionary

Revolutionary

Developing tomorrow's technology

Working backwards from the goal as well as forwards from the start

Overview of the development of molecular manufacturing

Two more fundamental ideas

Von Neumann architecture

Complexity of self replicating systems

A C program that prints out an exact copy of itself

English translation:

Drexler's architecture

The broadcast architecture

Advantages of the broadcast architecture

Major subsystems in a simple assembler floating in solution

A broadcast method:

Simple pressure actuated device

A proposal for a molecular positional device

Feedstock

A simple binding site for butadiyne

A hydrogen abstraction tool

Some other molecular tools

Synthesis of diamond today: diamond CVD

A synthetic strategy for the synthesis of diamondoid structures

A modest set of molecular tools should be sufficient to synthesize most stiff hydrocarbons.

NASA study on self replication

Replicating brick

"Simple" diamondoid assembler

We could design and model an assembler today. This would:

Rationale for the design of the simple assembler

Rationale for the design of a simpler system

Disadvantages of Molecular Building Block (MBB) based systems

Diels-Alder cycloaddition

Protein-based molecular building blocks

Can we self assemble a robotic arm?

Can we self assemble a Stewart platform?

Can we self assemble an octahedron?

A Stewart platform is an octahedron in which:

Sliding struts

Sliding struts

Sliding struts

Sliding struts

Can today’s molecular motors be modified so they can be controllably stepped?

Main developmental pathways to molecular nanotechnology

Overview of the development of molecular manufacturing

Feynman quote

Author: Ralph C. Merkle

Email: merkle@xerox.com

Home Page: http://www.merkle.com

Other information:
Further information about nanotechnology is available at: http://www.zyvex.com/nano. The PowerPoint 97 version and the PowerPoint 95 version are available on the web.