Re: Submolecular nanotech

Eugene Leitl (
Tue, 18 May 1999 09:06:41 -0700 (PDT)

Gina Miller writes:
> This step forward, the ability to push atoms around, is the basic first step
> towards building molecular machines (nanotechnology). The problem left now,
> is how do we bond these together, to build? Moving down to the subatomic

You can't push atoms around, unless they are noble gases absorbed to a cold surface. If you had a naked atom (radical) trying to bond it to something would be the least of your worries. In fact this is the reason you can't work with single atoms (with the possible exclusion of shooting cold radicals down a buckytube upon a surface), but have to use reactive moieties. They are either an analogon of a monomer, or get reactivated in a cycle after deposition. The abstract deposited species may indeed be an atom, but this doesn't mean you are pushing atoms around.

> level, may or may not be the next step. Top down or to bottoms up, should we
> skip? Why not keep delving into all aspects? I think there is a lot more to
> learn at the atomic level, aside from abandoning it.

Yes, there is much to learn: