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   Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems

The first broad-based, multidisciplinary exploration of paths to molecular manufacturing and advanced nanotechnology-based products, the Roadmap addresses how current laboratory techniques can be extended, step by step, toward increasingly advanced products and capabilities.

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Working group proceedings [14.5 MB]
Addendum: Low-Cost DNA Production


U.S. National Academies Nanotechnology Report
Examines Molecular Manufacturing

First Federal review calls for first Federal funding

NAS NNI Chapter 5 pdf

The National Research Council of the NAS has released its long-awaited report on molecular manufacturing as part of A Matter of Size: Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The report cites the physics-based, technical analysis in my book, Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation, and calls for the NNI to initiate support for experimental research in this area, recommending both demonstrations of the fundamental principles of “site-specific chemistry for large-scale manufacturing” and exploration of alternative development paths toward that objective. The concluding sentence of the 200 page report states that

“...Research funding that is based on the ability of investigators to produce experimental demonstrations that link to abstract models and guide long-term vision is most appropriate to achieve this goal.”

The report, prepared in response to a congressional request, represents the first open, national-level, science-based evaluation of the concept of molecular manufacturing in the U.S., and the first recognition of its importance as a target for experimental research.

National Academies review: full report [pdf, 4 MB]; concluding section [pdf, 200 KB].

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Updated 19 May 2008

Upcoming lectures:

May 26-30 2008: Lectures and meetings in São Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul and Rio de Janeiro. Brazil

Recent lectures:

February 25-26 2008: Chapel Hill, NC, UNC.

January 31 to February 3 2008: Kharagpur, India, at IIT Kharagpur for Kshitij 2008 technology symposium.

October 9-13 2007: Washington, DC, SME Conference in conjunction with the Battelle Memorial Institute, “Mapping Roads toward Advanced Nanotechnologies” (Presentation of Technology Roadmap to Productive Nanosystems)

September 11 and 2007: in Hong Kong and New York, both with JP Morgan, “Nanotechnology - the Next Industrial Revolution: are we investing for the right future?”

September 5-9 2007: Dalian China, World Economic Forum New Leaders Forum, discussion leader in “New Frontiers in Nanotechnology”

August 3-4 2007: Mountain View, CA (Googleplex), Science Foo

June 29 - July 4 2007: Banff, Canada, Renaissance Weekend

Invited speaker, 2007 Unconventional Computation workshop, cosponsored by Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Santa Fe Institute, 21–23 March 2007, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Invited speaker, Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium, "Nanomaterials in Biology and Medicine: Promises and Perils", sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, 10–11 April 2007, Washington, DC.

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists


Interview in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists regarding molecular manufacturing, weapons, security issues, the role of scientists, and what I would say to elementary school students. (Behind a pay wall: a problem for those students.)

WOWIO Engines of Creation

New Edition:

Engines of Creation 2.0 (a WOWIO e-book). This 20th anniversary edition combines the original text of Engines of Creation with a collection of background readings and a new Letter from the Author. The publisher is exploring a new business model that makes copyrighted books available for download at no cost.


New on this site:

Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation. Sample chapters, glossary, and extended Table of Contents from the physics-based text on molecular manufacturing.


Now available:

“Molecular manufacturing: perspectives on the ultimate limits of fabrication” [pdf, 2.0 MB] (in Transactions of the Royal Philosophical Society)

Nanofactory images and link

The nanofactory movie, “Productive Nanosystems: From molecules to superproducts”, is now available on YouTube. Starting at the human scale, the viewer zooms in through a scale factor of a billion to follow molecules as they are sorted, bound, transformed, and joined to form larger and larger parts of a billion-processor laptop computer. The production and much of the design were done by John Burch of LizardFire Studios. I advised, and Damian Allis and I did the density-functional quantum chemistry in the analysis of the carbon-transfer tooltip. (Note: there are no dancing “nanobots” — the factory contains only factory-style machinery.)

2 June 2006

 Cover of Nature Nanotechnology   

“Nanoscience and nanotechnology...” (my thoughts on the word in the article “nan'o·tech·nol'o·gy n.” in the inaugural issue of Nature Nanotechnology.)


22 June 2006

    Drexler, K.E. (2006) “Nanotechnology Essays: Revolutionizing the Future of Technology” in AAAS EurekAlert! InContext, updated 22 June 2006. (A general introduction to productive nanosystems.)

2 June 2006

Engines of Creation


Now available exclusively on this site:

Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology in html
with links to Japanese, Spanish, French, and Chinese versions.


4 April 2006 Now available or in press:

    Drexler, K.E. (in press) “Toward Integrated Nanosystems: Fundamental Issues in Design and Modeling” in Handbook of Theoretical and Computational Nanotechnology, M. Rieth, W. Schommers, eds. American Scientific Publishers.

    Drexler, K.E. (2006) “Toward Integrated Nanosystems: Fundamental issues in design and modeling” [pdf, 2.2 MB] in Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience 3:1-10.

    Drexler, K.E. (2006) “Nanotechnology” in McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology.

    Drexler, K.E. (2005) “Productive Nanosystems: the physics of molecular fabrication” [pdf, 0.6 MB] in Physics Education 40:339-346.

    Allis, D.G. and K.E. Drexler (2005) “Design and Analysis of a Molecular Tool for Carbon Transfer in Mechanosynthesis” [pdf, 1.0 MB] J. Comput. Theor. Nanosci 2:45-55.

9 June 2004

A paper in the Institute of Physics (UK) journal, Nanotechnology, addresses safe exponential manufacturing, explaining why self-replication is unnecessary. New illustrations of a desktop nanofactory are now available.

Some items that may be of special interest are the animations of molecular machines and the analysis of friction in atomically precise bearings vs. fluid-immersed systems. The FAQ outlines recent perspectives on nanotechnology and molecular manufacturing, reframing some issues of broad concern.

A paper on secure computing describes ideas that could prove revolutionary.

Drexler-info contact information (send mail via the Nanorex domain)