Jan 21, 2007

Significant Nanotechnology related developments

Posted by in category: nanotechnology

There were several significant developments and announcements that were nanotechnology related.

The UK Ideas Factory Sandpit announced three ambitious, but in my opinion achievable projects in the 2–5 year timeframe.

1. A system with software based control for the assembly of DNA oligomers, nanopartices and other small molecules. This would be a significant advance over current DNA synthesis if they are successful.

2. Computer-directed actuators with sub-angstrom precisions that is based upon novel surface-bound, reconfigurable nanoscale building blocks and a prototype computer-controlled matter manipulator (akin to a nanoscale conveyor belt)

3. A matter compiler project which is to make the engineering control system to direct molecular assembly These announced projects could prompt the funding of more projects with aggressive molecular nanotechnology related objectives. If that was the case then this could be the beginning of a technological race.

Dwave systems has announced the date for the demonstration of their 16 qubit quantum computer

Dwave systems has a current roadmap with well over 1,000 by the end of 2008.

There are some quantum algorithms that can’t be run using the current architecture. The technical reason for this is that the devices that couple qubits i and j are of the \sigma_z^{i} \sigma_z^{j} type. There are some 16-qubit states that can’t be generated with the X + Z + ZZ Hamiltonian. Their roadmap includes the addition of an XZ coupler to their architecture, which will make their systems universal. The reason for doing this is that they plan to build processors specifically for quantum simulation, which represents a big commercial opportunity.

Their roadmap has an introduction of a quantum simulation processor line in 2009. NOTE: 1000 qubits would enable 2**1000 states or about 10**300. 10**80 is the number of atoms in the observable universe The 2009, 1000+ qubit quantum simulation processor would be a big boost for molecular nanotechnology research.

Honeycomb nanotubes have been created by a team in China They appear to be able to transfer the high single tube strength to the macroscale. These along with Carbon nanotube Superthreads (which was announced in 2006) seem like part of a wave of big carbon nanotube developments. They should have significant commercial impact and the potential of carbon nanotubes to strengthen and alter products will be significantly realized in 2007. The other thing that I draw from this is that the advances are happening in North America, Europe and China.

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