The potential for nanotechnology to “build molecule-by-molecule” has been greatly discussed with one question invariably being asked: How do we get from here to there? Foresight Nanotech Institute, a leading nanotechnology think tank and public interest organization, and Battelle, a leading global research and development organization, have officially unveiled “Productive Nanosystems: A Technology Roadmap.” Productive nanosystems are molecular-scale systems that make other useful materials and devices that are nanostructured.
This Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems is a first attempt to map out the R&D pathways across multiple disciplines to achieve atomically precise manufacturing. For the past three years, working groups comprised of over 70 research scientists, nanotechnology theorists, and business leaders have collaborated to create a common framework for understanding and defining these pathways.
The working groups also identified the challenges that must be overcome in developing these systems and the applications that they can address. The Roadmap provides a structure for formulating research and commercialization agendas for achieving atomically precise manufacturing. The intended audiences for the Roadmap include governments, corporations, research institutions, investors, economic development organizations, public policy professionals, educators, and the media.
“For the first time, progress across all key nanoscale disciplines has been brought together into R&D pathways leading to atomically-precise manufacturing, with revolutionary applications to medicine, smart materials, and energy,” said Jim Von Ehr, Founder and chief executive officer of Zyvex Labs, Foresight Board of Directors member, and Roadmap Steering Committee member. “We look forward to hearing from technologists in industry, academia, and government on their thoughts about this roadmap, and their suggestions for improvement in the next version.”
Available free of charge at the Foresight Nanotech Institute website, the Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems features an Executive Summary that can be readily understood by those new to nanotechnology. The main document is organized in three sections.
The first section, titled The Road Map, introduces Atomic Precision and explains the What, Why, and How. The other parts in this section discuss Atomically Precise Manufacturing; Atomically Precise Components and Systems; Modeling, Design, and Characterization; and Applications. There is also an Agenda for Research and a Call to Action.
The second section of the Nanotechnology Roadmap, titled Topics in Detail, discusses specific components and devices, systems and frameworks, fabrication and synthesis methods, and modeling, design, and characterization. The final section, titled Working Group Proceedings, covers atomically precise fabrication and nanoscale manufacturing processes.
“Battelle is very pleased to be a partner on this critical pioneering nanotechnology project,” said Alex Kawczak, Vice President of Nanostructured Materials and BioProducts at Battelle. “The advancement of nanotechnology is a highly collaborative endeavor that requires complex cooperation across disciplines. The roadmap provides the foundation needed for this cooperation as research moves towards atomically precise manufacturing to meet the needs of industrial and government markets.”
The Roadmap project was made possible through grants to the Foresight Nanotech Institute by the Waitt Family Foundation (founding sponsor) and Sun Microsystems, with direct support from Nanorex, Zyvex Labs, and Synchrona. Working group meetings were hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in cooperation with Battelle Memorial Institute.
Who was involved:
The steering committee included: Paul Alivisatos, Chancellor’s Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science, University of California, Berkeley, and Director, Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Pearl Chin, Research Fellow, Foresight Nanotech Institute; K. Eric Drexler, Chief Technical Advisor, Nanorex; Doon Gibbs, Deputy Director for Science and Technology, Brookhaven National Laboratory; William Goddard III, Charles and Mary Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Applied Physics and Director, Materials and Process Simulation Center, California Institute of Technology; William A. Haseltine, President, William A. Haseltine Foundation for Medical Sciences and the Arts; Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson; Alex Kawczak, Vice President-Nanostructured Materials and BioProducts, Battelle; Charles M. Lieber, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University; Christine Peterson, co-Founder and Vice President, Foresight Nanotech Institute; John Randall, Chief Technology Officer, Zyvex; Jim Roberto, Chief Research Officer and Deputy Laboratory Director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Nadrian Seeman, Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor of Chemistry, New York University; Rick Snyder, Chairman and CEO, Ardesta; and J. Fraser Stoddart, Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry, Northwestern University; and Ted Waitt, Chairman of Avalon Capital Group and The Waitt Family Foundation. This committee guided the development of the Roadmap.
The project has been aided by a select group of industry and technical organizations. These include the SPIE–International Society of Optical Engineers; SEMI, the leading global industry association for equipment, materials and service companies enabling micro- and nano-scale manufacturing; the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the leading power industry research organization; and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the world’s leading professional society supporting manufacturing education.
About Foresight Nanotech Institute
Foresight Nanotech Institute is a leading think tank and public interest organization focused on nanotechnology. Founded in 1986, our mission is to ensure the beneficial implementation of nanotechnology. Focusing on the six Foresight Nanotechnology Challenges, Foresight provides balanced, accurate and timely information to help society understand nanotechnology through publications, R&D guidelines, public policy activities, prizes, conferences, discussion forums, and networking events.
Battelle is the world’s largest non-profit independent research and development organization, providing innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing needs through its four global businesses: Laboratory Management, National Security, Energy Science and Technology, and Health and Life Sciences. It advances scientific discovery and application by conducting $4 billion in global R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management and technology commercialization. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 20,400 employees in more than 120 locations worldwide, including seven national laboratories which Battelle manages or co-manages for the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Battelle also is one of the nation’s leading charitable trusts focusing on societal and economic impact and actively supporting and promoting science and math education.
About The Waitt Family Foundation – Helping Good People do Great Things
The Waitt Family Foundation was established by Gateway Founder Ted Waitt in 1993 and is headquartered in La Jolla, California. The Foundation is affiliated with two institutes formed by Waitt: the Institute for Discovery and the Institute for Violence Prevention.