Enabling Technologies for Molecular Nanosystems

  • Edward A. Rietman
Part of the Biological Physics Series book series (BIOMEDICAL)


Feynman (1960) first proposed a molecular-scale technology. Drexler (1981, 1986, 1992) went far beyond that proposal and described some of the limitations of these molecular machines. Specifically, he proposed a machine known as an assembler. An assembler in this context is a machine that has the ability to construct essentially anything we program it to construct. Macroscale versions of these machines are called Santa Claus machines (Calder, 1978) and von Neumann machines (Freitas and Gilbreath, 1982). In this chapter, we will examine the rationale for that conjecture and some exploratory engineering leading toward that long-range goal. Subsequent chapters will review progress to date with a focus on the chemical enabling technologies that will bring this long-range goal to fruition.


Scan Tunneling Microscopy Bond Dissociation Energy Molecular Machine Scanning Force Microscopy Enabling Technology 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward A. Rietman
    • 1
  1. 1.Starlab, NVBrusselsBelgium

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