Mar 5, 2007

Impressive Recent Progress in Nanotechnology

Posted by in category: nanotechnology

A better atomic force microscope from Japan:

Credit: Oscar Custance, Osaka University

“A new type of atomic force microscope (AFM) has been developed that can “fingerprint” the chemical identity of individual atoms on a material’s surface. This is one step ahead of existing AFMs, which can only detect the position of atoms. The device determines local composition and structure using a precise calibration method, and can even be used to manipulate specific atomic species. The team demonstrated their “fingerprinting” technique by using an atomic force microscope (AFM) to distinguish atoms of tin (blue) and lead (green) deposited on a silicon substrate (red).”

Here is the associated article (subscription req’d).

Here’s the graphene transistor everyone’s been talking about:

One atom thick, 50 atoms wide. Here is an article going over the advance. It states that the transistors are not likely to be completely ready by 2025, but this estimate seems conservative.

Scientists from Duke recently achieved the new size record for a programmable synthetic nanostructure:

These DNA grids were formed by hierarchial self-assembly. The article on the development states, that the “grid-like structures consist of components that can be independently modified to create arbitrary patterns for different purposes”.

Reminds me of CRN’s cubic micron DNA structure ideas.

The trillion-dollar question is, “when will these advances lead to freely programmable, self-replicating molecular assemblers?” Some scientists are betting on the 2015–2020 timeframe, others say “never”.


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