[Fwd] Nanotech news

From: Yakov Horenstein (yakov@planet.it)
Date: Tue Dec 16 1997 - 00:40:43 EET

IBM and NASA Teams Win Feynman Prize Awards For Nanotechnology Research from
                              Foresight Institute
                            (PR Newswire; 12/15/97)

    PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ Foresight Institute has awarded
the 1997 Feynman Prizes for research in nanotechnology to teams based at IBM
Research Division Zurich Research Laboratory for experimental research and at
NASA Ames Research Center for theoretical research.

    Each team received a $5,000 cash award to be divided among its members, as
well as certificates of recognition. The awards were presented at the
completed Fifth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology, at which
nearly 100 technical papers were presented on nanotechnology research being
conducted at leading academic and corporate research centers on five
continents. The Conference was keynoted by Nobel laureate Richard Smalley of
Rice University.

    The prize is named in memory of California Institute of Technology
professor Richard Feynman, who proposed the concept of manipulating matter at
the molecular level and constructing materials with molecular precision in a
famous 1959 talk, "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom." As part of that
talk, he offered cash prizes for advances in nanotechnology a practice
continued with Foresight's awards.

    The IBM researchers awarded the 1997 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology for
Experimental Work were James Gimzewski, Reto Schlittler of IBM Zurich and
Christian Joachim of the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique in

    Members of the NASA Ames team that was awarded the 1997 Feynman Prize in
Nanotechnology for Theoretical Work are Charles Bauschlicher, Stephen Barnard,
Creon Levit, Glenn Deardorff, Al Globus, Jie Han, Richard Jaffe, Alessandra
Ricca, Marzio Rosi, Deepak Srivastava, and H. Thuemmel. All are employed by
NASA Ames Research Center or by MRJ Technology Solutions, Inc. at NASA Ames.

    The IBM team was recognized for its pioneering work to extend the
capabilities of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) that has expanded
possibilities to manipulate molecules on an individual basis. Their work
included creation of a "molecular abacus" which used individual C-60 carbon
molecules (also known as "buckyballs") as "beads" of the abacus. The beads
were moved along atomic-scale grooves in a copper surface, at room
using an STM probe.

    The IBM team developed the capability to image molecules at complexity
levels of over 100 atoms such that molecular recognition of the orientation,
integrity, and even conformation of their subcomponents is readily achievable.
They also developed the capability to manipulate molecules nondestructively on
an individual basis and to use the molecular recognition capabilities for
verification of such operations. They demonstrated that molecules can be
controllably repositioned at room temperature. The primary goal of their
research is to understand and thereby increase the complexity and
predictability of operations that can be performed in assembly and
functionality at the single molecule level.

    The team at NASA Ames Research Center, has been using NASA's molecular
modeling computational capabilities to explore nanotechnology designs based on
machine phase functionalized fullerenes. They have developed theoretical
to construct molecular-scale gears, pumps and other mechanical components from
fullerene tubes ("buckytubes") and fullerene balls ("buckyballs"). Although
is not yet possible to construct any such items, the NASA team's work suggests
that fullerene-based designs may be relatively accessible and possess great
potential for aerospace applications. This nanotechnology might use carbon
nanotubes and related components as the building blocks of molecular machines.

    Judges for the 1997 Feynman Prize awards were Carl R. Feynman, computer
scientist and son of Richard Feynman; William A. Goddard III, Chemistry and
Applied Physics, Materials and Molecular Simulation Center, Caltech; Tracy
Handel, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, UC Berkeley, Jan Hoh, Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine; Neil Jacobstein, Chairman, Institute for
Molecular Manufacturing and President, Teknowledge Corporation; Arthur
Kantrowitz, Dartmouth College, and Advisor, to Foresight Institute; Marvin
Minsky, MIT Media Lab and MIT AI Lab, and Advisor, Foresight Institute;
Musgrave, Chemical Engineering, Stanford University; Nils Nilsson, Robotics
Laboratory, Computer Science Dept., Stanford University; Nadrian C. Seeman,
York University; Richard Smalley, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology
at Rice University; and George Whitesides, Dept. of Chemistry, Harvard.

    Previous winners of the Feynman Prize are Musgrave, for his theoretical
work on a hydrogen abstraction tool for nanotechnology, and Seeman for his
pioneering experimental work on the synthesis of 3-dimensional objects from

    Nanotechnology is an emerging technology based on the ability to assemble
individual molecules and atoms into precise structures. Its realization will
allow the construction of supercomputers the size of a sugar cube, pollution-
free manufacturing, super-strength materials, and molecular-scale robots
capable of repairing damage in individual human cells. More than one billion
such nanorobots could fit inside a single drop of blood.

    Foresight Institute is an educational foundation whose goal is to guide
emerging technologies to improve the human condition. Foresight focuses its
efforts upon nanotechnology and upon systems that will enhance knowledge
exchange and critical discussion, thus improving public and private policy
decisions. Foresight Institute can be found on the World Wide Web at

SOURCE Foresight Institute
    -0- 12/15/97
    /CONTACT: Lewis M. Phelps of Phelps Consulting Group, 626-796-8551,
email: LewPhelpsConsulting.com; or Chris Peterson, Executive Director,
Foresight Institute, 650-917-1122, or email: InformForesight.org/
    /Website: http://www.foresight.org./

Yakov Horenstein
Milano, Italy

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