DOE: Atomically Precise Manufacturing FY 2018

At the Advanced Manufacturing Office workshop in Berkeley in 2015 [1], participants identified two specific positional assembly methods for achieving an atomically precise level of precision: (1) tip-based positional assembly using scanning probe microscopes, and (2) integrated nanosystems using molecular machine components. The first approach is also considered to include the methodology developed by Lyding of selective deprotection and atomic layer epitaxial deposition [2]. Both approaches have considerable challenges to implementation, including positional accuracy (which is influenced by factors such as component stiffness and thermal vibration), repeatability, working tip design and synthesis, suitable building block design, transport of molecules to the working tip, and scalability.

Advances in these positional assembly techniques will be considered for funding for high energy impact applications such as (but not limited to) atomically precise catalysts, molecular electronic computer circuits, quantum computer circuits, and high sensitivity molecular sensors. Responsive proposals will identify specific technological hurdles in their approach to positional molecular assembly, and show how the milestones and deliverables proposed for the project will overcome these hurdles. Physical demonstrations of the production of atomically precise structures or devices is the preferred deliverable, however the Phase I proposal may experimentally demonstrate overcoming issues at the subcomponent level that eventually lead to the desired advance in molecular assembly. For example, designing and building a critical molecular machine component would be responsive, if the proposal shows how this component would function as part of an integrated nanosystem for molecular assembly in a Phase II demonstration. Instrumentation advances such as atomically precise tip synthesis or improved scanning probe repeatability and positional accuracy would also qualify, if the proposal shows how these will lead to atomically precise manufacturing in a Phase II demonstration. Theoretical studies alone will not be considered responsive to this solicitation, although may be proposed in complement to experimental demonstrations. Questions – Contact: David Forrest,

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