Molecular nanotechnology

nanotechnologyadvanced nanotechnologymolecularmolecular machinemolecular nanoassemblingmolecular-scale devicesnanobotsnanoforge technologynanotechnologistnanotechnology weapons
Molecular nanotechnology (MNT) is a technology based on the ability to build structures to complex, atomic specifications by means of mechanosynthesis.wikipedia
169 Related Articles

Nanotechnology

nanosciencenanotechnologiesnanotech
Based on Richard Feynman's vision of miniature factories using nanomachines to build complex products (including additional nanomachines), this advanced form of nanotechnology (or molecular manufacturing ) would make use of positionally-controlled mechanosynthesis guided by molecular machine systems.
The earliest, widespread description of nanotechnology referred to the particular technological goal of precisely manipulating atoms and molecules for fabrication of macroscale products, also now referred to as molecular nanotechnology.

Foresight Institute

Foresight Institute's Foresight Exchange
A roadmap for the development of MNT is an objective of a broadly based technology project led by Battelle (the manager of several U.S. National Laboratories) and the Foresight Institute.
The institute holds conferences on molecular nanotechnology and is one of the independent foundations in the nanotechnology area.

K. Eric Drexler

Eric DrexlerDrexler Eric Drexler’s
MNT nanofacturing is popularly linked with the idea of swarms of coordinated nanoscale robots working together, a popularization of an early proposal by K. Eric Drexler in his 1986 discussions of MNT, but superseded in 1992. A grey goo is another catastrophic scenario, which was proposed by Eric Drexler in his 1986 book Engines of Creation, has been analyzed by Freitas in "Some Limits to Global Ecophagy by Biovorous Nanoreplicators, with Public Policy Recommendations" and has been a theme in mainstream media and fiction.
Kim Eric Drexler (born April 25, 1955) is an American engineer best known for seminal studies of the potential of molecular nanotechnology (MNT), from the 1970s and 1980s.

Mechanosynthesis

mechanically positioning reactive molecules
Molecular nanotechnology (MNT) is a technology based on the ability to build structures to complex, atomic specifications by means of mechanosynthesis.
Much of the excitement regarding advanced mechanosynthesis regards its potential use in assembly of molecular-scale devices.

Engines of Creation

Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology1986 discussions of MNT
MNT nanofacturing is popularly linked with the idea of swarms of coordinated nanoscale robots working together, a popularization of an early proposal by K. Eric Drexler in his 1986 discussions of MNT, but superseded in 1992. A grey goo is another catastrophic scenario, which was proposed by Eric Drexler in his 1986 book Engines of Creation, has been analyzed by Freitas in "Some Limits to Global Ecophagy by Biovorous Nanoreplicators, with Public Policy Recommendations" and has been a theme in mainstream media and fiction.
Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology is a 1986 molecular nanotechnology book written by K. Eric Drexler with a foreword by Marvin Minsky.

Nanomedicine

medicalhealthcareNano
One of the most important applications of MNT would be medical nanorobotics or nanomedicine, an area pioneered by Robert Freitas in numerous books and papers.
Nanomedicine ranges from the medical applications of nanomaterials and biological devices, to nanoelectronic biosensors, and even possible future applications of molecular nanotechnology such as biological machines.

Global catastrophic risk

doomsdayexistential riskend of the world
According to Chris Phoenix and Mike Treder from the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology as well as Anders Sandberg from the Future of Humanity Institute molecular manufacturing is the application of nanotechnology that poses the most significant global catastrophic risk.
Examples of technology risks are hostile artificial intelligence and destructive biotechnology or nanotechnology.

Grey goo

Grey goo scenariogray goonanovirus plague
A grey goo is another catastrophic scenario, which was proposed by Eric Drexler in his 1986 book Engines of Creation, has been analyzed by Freitas in "Some Limits to Global Ecophagy by Biovorous Nanoreplicators, with Public Policy Recommendations" and has been a theme in mainstream media and fiction. Some commentators have referred to this situation as the "grey goo" or "ecophagy" scenario.
Grey goo (also spelled gray goo) is a hypothetical end-of-the-world scenario involving molecular nanotechnology in which out-of-control self-replicating robots consume all biomass on Earth while building more of themselves, a scenario that has been called ecophagy ("eating the environment", more literally "eating the habitation").

Utility fog

fogletfoglets
Another proposed application of molecular nanotechnology is "utility fog" — in which a cloud of networked microscopic robots (simpler than assemblers) would change its shape and properties to form macroscopic objects and tools in accordance with software commands.
While the foglets would be micro-scale, construction of the foglets would require full molecular nanotechnology.

Technological singularity

Singularityintelligence explosionthe Singularity
Molecular nanotechnology is one of the technologies that some analysts believe could lead to a technological singularity.
Some writers use "the singularity" in a broader way to refer to any radical changes in our society brought about by new technologies such as molecular nanotechnology, although Vinge and other writers specifically state that without superintelligence, such changes would not qualify as a true singularity.

Brian Wowk

PAO systems were described in BC Crandall's Nanotechnology: Molecular Speculations on Global Abundance in the Brian Wowk article "Phased-Array Optics."
Wowk is also known for early theoretical work on future applications of molecular nanotechnology, especially cryonics, nanomedicine, and optics.

Cryonics

cryoniccryonic suspensioncryonically
Even cryonics would be feasible, as cryopreserved tissue could be fully repaired.
This far-future technology is usually assumed to be nanomedicine based on molecular nanotechnology.

Microelectromechanical systems

MEMSmicroelectromechanical systemmicrosystems
Diamondoid structures and other stiff covalent structures, if achieved, would have a wide range of possible applications, going far beyond current MEMS technology.
MEMS technology is distinguished from molecular nanotechnology or molecular electronics in that the latter must also consider surface chemistry.

Phased-array optics

phased arrayholographic display technologyoptical phased arrays
Yet another proposed application of MNT would be phased-array optics (PAO).
In nanotechnology, phased array optics refers to arrays of lasers or SLMs with addressable phase and amplitude elements smaller than a wavelength of light.

Future of Humanity Institute

Stuart Armstrong
According to Chris Phoenix and Mike Treder from the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology as well as Anders Sandberg from the Future of Humanity Institute molecular manufacturing is the application of nanotechnology that poses the most significant global catastrophic risk.
Technological outcomes the Institute is particularly interested in include anthropogenic climate change, nuclear warfare and nuclear terrorism, molecular nanotechnology, and artificial general intelligence.

Ecophagy

global ecophagy
Some commentators have referred to this situation as the "grey goo" or "ecophagy" scenario.
Freitas used the term to describe a scenario involving molecular nanotechnology gone awry.

Richard Smalley

Richard E. SmalleyRick SmalleySmalley
Several researchers, including Nobel Prize winner Dr. Richard Smalley (1943–2005), attacked the notion of universal assemblers, leading to a rebuttal from Drexler and colleagues, and eventually to an exchange of letters.
As a consequence of these researches, Smalley was able to persuade the administration of Rice University under then-president Malcolm Gillis to create Rice's Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) focusing on any aspect of molecular nanotechnology.

Self-replication

self-replicatingreplicationreplicate
Commentators generally agree that, in the event molecular nanotechnology were developed, its self-replication should be permitted only under very controlled or "inherently safe" conditions.
Nanotechnology or more precisely, molecular nanotechnology is concerned with making nano scale assemblers. Without self-replication, capital and assembly costs of molecular machines become impossibly large.

Molecular assembler

molecular manufacturingUniversal Constructorassemblers
Another proposed application of molecular nanotechnology is "utility fog" — in which a cloud of networked microscopic robots (simpler than assemblers) would change its shape and properties to form macroscopic objects and tools in accordance with software commands.
However, the debate continues, with some of it being summarized in the molecular nanotechnology article.

The Diamond Age

The Diamond Age, or A Young Lady's Illustrated PrimerThe Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated PrimerThe Diamond Age: or A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer
In The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, diamond can be built directly out of carbon atoms. All sorts of devices from dust-size detection devices to giant diamond zeppelins are constructed atom by atom using only carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and chlorine atoms.
Molecular nanotechnology

Technomimetics

Technomimetics
Technomimetics can be considered as the essential components of molecular machines and have the primary use in molecular nanotechnology.

Molecular machine

nanomachinesnanomachinenanite
Based on Richard Feynman's vision of miniature factories using nanomachines to build complex products (including additional nanomachines), this advanced form of nanotechnology (or molecular manufacturing ) would make use of positionally-controlled mechanosynthesis guided by molecular machine systems.
Molecular nanotechnology is a speculative subfield of nanotechnology regarding the possibility of engineering molecular assemblers, biological machines which could re-order matter at a molecular or atomic scale.

Nanomaterials

nanomaterialnano-materialsnanoscale materials
This is distinct from nanoscale materials.

Richard Feynman

FeynmanRichard P. FeynmanFeynman, Richard
Based on Richard Feynman's vision of miniature factories using nanomachines to build complex products (including additional nanomachines), this advanced form of nanotechnology (or molecular manufacturing ) would make use of positionally-controlled mechanosynthesis guided by molecular machine systems.

Self-replicating machine

self-replicatingself-replicating machinesself-replicating robots
Based on Richard Feynman's vision of miniature factories using nanomachines to build complex products (including additional nanomachines), this advanced form of nanotechnology (or molecular manufacturing ) would make use of positionally-controlled mechanosynthesis guided by molecular machine systems.