challenges opportunities the future of nano bio technologies chris phoenix l.
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Nanotechnology From 1959 to 2029

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  1. Challenges & Opportunities: The Future of Nano & Bio Technologies Chris Phoenix Nanotechnology From 1959 to 2029

  2. Overview Important time periods • Feynman to mid-80's • 1986 to 2007 • 2008 to 2022 • 2022 to 2029 Important technologies • Nanoscale technologies • Molecular manufacturing • Other significant technologies

  3. Before “Nanotechnology” • Richard Feynman, 1959: “There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom” • Colloids • Electron microscopes • Von Neumann • Early 80's: Drexler publishes peer-reviewed articles

  4. Mid 1980's: Nanotechnology Begins • Drexler publishes Engines of Creation • Foresight Institute founded • “Grey goo” worries begin • “Universal assembler,” “disassembler” • “Nanotechnology”

  5. Early Molecular Manufacturing • Based on biology • Small manufacturing systems • Organic-like chemistry • High performance • Large potential impact • Attracted transhumanists, cryonicists, etc.

  6. Molecular Manufacturing's Power Scaling laws Low friction and wear General-purpose manufacturing Highly reliable operation High material strength Inexpensive material (carbon)

  7. Skepticism • How can a machine reproduce? • Won't quantum uncertainty...? • How can you power it? • How can you control it? • Chemistry is too unreliable!

  8. Nanomedicine • Build with molecules --> meet cells at their own level. • Small and numerous --> whole-body interventions • Respirocytes, etc. • 1999: Freitas --> Nanomedicine I • 1996-2002: Vasculoid

  9. Vasculoid: Replace Blood • 150 trillion plates lining blood vessels • 166 T boxes transport molecules and cells inside hollow tube • Avoid bleeding, poisons, metastasized cancer, etc. • Extremely aggressive but appears possible • 111 pages long, 587 references

  10. 1990's: Concepts Mature • Drexler publishes Nanosystems • Lots of physics analysis • Diamondoid • Nanofactories • Largely ignored outside community • Other “nanotechnology” • Skepticism (e.g. SciAm)

  11. Physics of Nanosystems • Scaling Laws • Power density ~ L^-1 • Component density ~ L^-3 • Operation frequency ~ L^-1 • Relative throughput ~ L^-4 • Atom-scale Physics • Superlubricity • Discrete dimensions • Quantum phenomena

  12. 2000: Nanotech Goes Mainstream • National Nanotechnology Initiative • $1B per year for nanotech • Nanotech defined as anything small and interesting • “Why The Future Doesn't Need Us” • Stated that one “oops” could destroy the world with grey goo • Strong incentive to marginalize molecular manufacturing

  13. Nanoscale Technologies Build small objects and structures Use big machines Limited product range Diverse but limited applications Lots of cool physics tricks Not just one technology; not even a family Materials, not products

  14. 2000-2007 • Nanoscale tech advances in many directions • Nanoparticle concerns • CRN founded Dec. 2002 • Drexler/Smalley debate • NMAB report • Opposition to MM slowly fades

  15. Nanoscale tech in the stone age • Unlock natural properties • Access the small stuff indirectly • Very sophisticated techniques needed • Useful and complex products • Limited flexibility • Ask a flint knapper to make a gear... (Ask a flint knapper what good a gear is...)

  16. 2000-2007 (continued) • Nanofactory architecture matures • Foresight/Battelle Productive Nanosystems Roadmap • NanoRex • Zyvex • Nanofactory Collaboration • Ideas Factory

  17. Nanofactory Architecture • “Design of a Primitive Nanofactory” • Chris Phoenix, Oct. 2003, JETpress • Demonstrate that nanofactories could be bootstrapped quickly • Physical architecture, power, redundancy, product specification and capabilities, bootstrapping time, etc., etc. • 73 pages

  18. Burch/Drexler Nanofactory • “Productive Nanosystems: From Molecules To Superproducts” • Video released July 2005 • Introduced planar assembly • Obsoleted about ¼ of Primitive Nanofactory paper

  19. NIAC Contract • With Tee Toth-Fejel • Developed bootstrapping concepts • Fleshed out planar-assembly nanofactory architecture • Showed one of many ways to develop exponential manufacturing

  20. “Tattoo Needle” architecture

  21. Recent tech advances • Oyabu: Pick and place silicon atoms • Schafmeister: rigid biopolymer • Rothemund: DNA staples • Freitas, Merkle, Drexler, Allis: mechanosynthesis studies • Seeman: DNA building DNA

  22. 2008-2015 • Nanoscale tech continues • Better computers • Medicine(!) • Materials • Sensors • Molecular manufacturing continues • More scanning probe chemistry • Better designs • More mainstream acceptance

  23. 2016-2022 • Diamond fabrication by SPM • Push for a nanofactory (may happen earlier) • Nanoscale science matures • Nanoscale tech keeps growing, needs better manufacturing • Recognition of MM implications?? • Nanofactory??

  24. 2023-2029 General-purpose nanotech manufacturing accelerates other technologies • Medicine • Brain/machine interface • Spaceflight • Computers/networks/sensors • Planet-scale engineering(?)

  25. Bootstrapping Options • Direct diamond synthesis (Freitas) • Biopolymer machines (Drexler) • Molecular building blocks (Toth-Fejel) • Top-down manufacturing (Hall) • Other covalent solids

  26. Development Cost of MM In 1980's, tens or hundreds of $B In 1990's, a few $B In 2000's, several hundred $M In 2010's, tens of $M In 2020's, a few $M (This is for a ten-year program) Would have been worth it in 1980!

  27. Conclusion • Molecular manufacturing will be developed soon • This is where nanotechnology is going • It will be more powerful, and more impactful, than we can easily imagine