In this thread I want to discuss the many possibilities that nanotechnology will hopefully deliver within the next decades. For starters,
nanotechnology is a branch of science dealing with building extremely small machines out of the precise configurations of atoms and molecules. These
tools will help us create many new and impressive materials with exotic qualities.
When we organize molecules at the molecular level, and in different patterns we see what's called "Size emergent properties in nano-materials".
These materials can have vastly different properties than the same materials not nano-organized.
The theoretical applications for nanotechnology are endless, however in this thread I will outline the mainstream ideas.
Nano-materials video - www.omnexus.com...
1. INDUSTRY and MANUFACTURING
The first is the manufacturing industry. Today's form of manufacturing is very expensive and wasteful of resources. The future of manufacturing will
be called molecular assembly. This is the ability to create massive quantities of molecularly precise structures in a massive parallel fashion.
These molecular assemblers will utilize nano-scale gears, struts, springs and motors to create these precise structures.
The energy requirements for nano-factories are negligible. I estimate that molecular manufacturing will be an energy generator rather than an energy
consumer. A molecular manufacturing process can be driven by the chemical energy content of the feedstock matrerials, producing electrical energy as a
by-product (if only to reduce the heat dissipation burden) using typical organic feedstock, and assuming oxidation of surplus hydrogen, reasonably
efficient molecular manufacturing processes are net energy producers. -Drexler, Nanosystems.
Manufacturing using molecular nanotechnology fabrication will also be far more energy efficient than contemporary manufacturing, which moves bulk
materials from place to place in a relatively wasteful manner. - Ray Kurzweil
Here are some resources showing the many different parts and designs of this technology
A solar run molecular motor only 58 atoms in size www.nature.com...
Light driven molecular rotor;
Conveyor belt for the nano-age
Transportation of material at the nano-scale
A Molecular assembler
A Chemically powered nano-motor only 78 atoms in size
These extremely small motors will potentially be used to power these tiny machines.
DNA biped walking device.
Another tool for transporting molecular sized structures.
Translation of DNA signals into polymer assembly instructions
Combining this technology with designer bacteria could allow us to use bacteria as our Nano-machines. Designer Bacteria is created with genetic
engineering. The possibilities are only limited to our understanding of the genetic code.
This allows for very precise positioning of tiny objects based on a system that moves in very tiny and equally measured increments.
Acoustic tweezers for nano-positioning
This will have many uses as it is much more difficult to move tiny objects with other physical objects.Using sound is also less destructive than other
methods on organic material
Kinematic self replicating machines
For building an army of nano-machines.
Self-replicating nanomachines feasible -
Biofuel cells run on metabolic energy to power medical implants.
Powering nano-systems with your body.
One thing that will be very important to this succeeding is the self-replication ability. It is hard to actually build these systems. But if we have
self-replicating machines, we will end up growing them over time, and will enable us to mass-produce these machines in the quantities needed. I know
there are a lot of security issues with this idea, and I will address these at the end.
[edit on 12/6/2009 by VonDoomen]
[edit on 12/6/2009 by VonDoomen]