Re: why atomic precision assemblers?

From: gary tripp (
Date: Mon Jan 24 2000 - 14:33:41 MST

nanogirl writes:

>That's the molecular building blocks approach. Many people are
>considering this as a first step towards mature molecular manufacturing
>and for some purposes molecular building blocks may be all that we need.
>But if you want to build very strong diamondoid materials you need to be
>able to put every atom in it's place. It's a first step, it may be
>sufficient for some purposes, but it won't give you diamondoid.

> gary writes:

>> Why must we have assemblers that pick and place each atom?
>> Why couldn't we create molecular parts through the methods of bulk
>> chemistry and then use drexlarian type assemblers to fuse these
>> larger molecular parts into structures that have some use. We
>> wouldn't be able to make everything but we might be able to make
>> useful machines nonetheless. We could make probes for nanomedicine
>> out of these.
>> Moreover, we may only require a few standard parts to make truly
>> useful structures.

I had in mind the sort of incremental improvement that affords an economic
incentive for the commitment of invested capital. Clearly if the development
of atomic pick and place assemblers is an all or none affair requiring huge
amounts of risk capital then this formidable hurtle might dissuade most
organizations and so leave the development role largely to the government.
As a matter of personal preference I'm much more comfortable with private
sector initiatives.

Ultimately, by the molecular building blocks approach these molecular parts,
made by the methods of bulk chemistry, may become so mature as
to provide say manipulator arms or extensible arms for stuart platforms etc
and so enable the assembly of true "pick and place assemblers"


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:02:38 MDT