Introduction Schedule Reading


This page is a buffet of links to resources that include most of the assigned homework readings.  Ant colonies can find food in many places because many individual ants explore.  Our class will thrive if you explore beyond the assigned readings and return with your discoveries.  Start reading one and, if it does not satisfy you, move on.  There are plenty more to choose from.  You may find your own resources in the Science & Engineering Library's professional journals or its stacks, or by searching the web.


Reader (download PDF of complete Reader)


What are nanoscience and nanotechnologies?

Rustlike Crystals Found to Cleanse Water of Arsenic Cheaply

Engineers develop cancer-targeting nanoprobe sensors

Design of Nanomachines using NanoEngineer-1

NanoEngineer-1 Tutorial

Advice to Aspiring Students

Productive Nanosystems: the physics of molecular fabrication

Herculean Device for Molecular Mysteries

An Approach to the Development of General Capabilities for Molecular Manipulation

The Little Big Down: A Small Introduction to Nano-scale Technologies

Why The Future Does Not Need Us

Molecular Motors

DNA molecular structure


High-res single molecule measurements greenleaf Block 2007-1


Molecular motors (Nature)


Bacterial flagellar motor (annurev biochem)


Structure of phi29 motor (2000 Nature)


2006 Bayley sequencing single molecules of DNA


What is nanotechnology?

There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom An Invitation to Enter a New Field of Physics The speech by Richard P. Feynman that inspired nanotechnology

It's a small, small, small, small world A 1997 article by Ralph Merkle introduces nanotechnology and some implementation issues.


What are nanoscience and nanotechnologies? This brief introduction to the concepts is Chapter 2 from a 2004 study published by The Royal Society of Canada entitled Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties.


Studying Nanotechnology An essay by nanotechnology pioneer K. Eric Drexler on how to approach advanced studies in the interdisciplinary field that nanotechnology is.  Although written in 1988, the advice is sound.


Nanotechnology: Shaping the World Atom by Atom A colorful introduction published by the National Science and Technology Council in 1999.


The Quest for Nanotechnology Chapter One from the book Bionanotechnology: Lessons from Nature by David S. Goodsell.  Contrasts the mechanical approach to nanotechnology (making gears, levers, and other familiar machines at the nanoscale) with the biological approach (copying and adapting what has evolved over a billion years).


Canon Science Lab A website divided into 15 sections (of up to eight pages each) explaining nanotechnology with animated graphics.  Although the last sections reference what the Canon corporation is doing, this is interesting and useful information.


Nanotechnology What is it? Will it change the world? What's all the fuss about?  A 28 minute video from 2000


Future Technology, Today's Choices Page 15 of this essay addresses the matter of scale and top-down vs. bottom-up


Why do we use nanotechnology?

Some examples of how nanotechnology impacts our lives now  From "Nanotechnology Now: Your Gateway to Everything Nanotech"


The Business of Nanotech  A BusinessWeek article surveys the state of the art circa February 2005.


The Future of Medicine Judith L. Swain, MD, writes about how nanotechnology may change our very approach to medicine.  Speech given at New York Academy of Sciences Conference Designing Nanostructures: A Tutorial October 2004.


Science and applications Chapter 3 from a 2004 study published by The Royal Society of Canada entitled Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties also explains what nanoscience and nanotechnology are, but emphasizes applications.


Nanotube water doesn't freeze - even at hundreds of degrees below zero Nanotube enclosures keep water from freezing.  A "new form of water"?


Tiny is Beautiful February 2005 New York Times article giving a range of nanotechnology applications from the mundane to the fantastic.


Striking a Blow for Chip Tech 2002 Wired article on stamping chip features smaller than can be done with photolithography, down to 10 nm.


Honey, I Shrunk the PC 2005 Wired article on two approaches to creating molecule-sized transistors that operate at room temperature (unlike the near-absolute zero models announced previously).  One approach relies on quantum mechanic effects and the other takes a chemistry approach.


Nanomedicine, Volume 1: Basic Capabilities / Robert A. Freitas, Jr.  (R855.3 .F74 1999  v. 1)  Book on reserve at S&E Library and online in HTML.  A 500-page book by Robert Freitas on the application of nanotechnology to medicine. 1999


Nanotechnology's Everywhere A 2005 USA Today article about diamonds and diapers made better


Press Release  UCI scientists use nanotechnology to create world’s fastest method for transmitting information in cell phones and computers


Nanowires show promise for atomic engines "Atomic electromagnets made from coils of individual gold atoms could prove valuable for nanocircuits and machines"

Rustlike Crystals Found to Cleanse Water of Arsenic Cheaply Nanoscale particles pull arsenic from drinking water in Bangladesh

Miniature Robots Play Nano Soccer Not quite nanometer scale, but very small robots test swarm techniques

Where does nanotechnology come from?

Nanomanufacturing and the industrial application of nanotechnologies Chapter 4 from a 2004 study published by The Royal Society of Canada entitled Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties examines how industry creates and may in the future create nanotechnology.


Marine sponge yields nanoscale secrets Biological approach to creating fiberglass needles.  May 2005


Studying Nanotechnology Advice on what to study in order to create nanotechnology from K.Eric Drexler


Quantum Interference Effect Transistor A 2005 report on how quantum mechanics is used to create a single-molecule transistor that will operate at room temperature.  Read in introduction on PhysicsWeb.


The Once And Future Nanomachine A 2001 Scientific American article by George M. Whitesides on biological inspirations for nanoscale submarines and replicators


Where is There Wisdom to be Found in Ancient Materials Technologies  A 2005 article from the Materials Research Society on how control of nanoscale features was accomplished hundreds of years ago, although without a scientific understanding.


How does nanotechnology work?

Nanoscale Materials What forces come into play at the nanoscale?  Mark A. Ratner writes that "nanoscale science is all about surfaces."  Speech given at New York Academy of Sciences Conference Designing Nanostructures: A Tutorial October 2004.


Overview of Biological Machines How some nanoscale machines work can already by seen in living organisms.  Evolution has produced a diversity and engineering can nudge it in new directions.  David S. Goodsell spoke at the New York Academy of Sciences Conference Designing Nanostructures: A Tutorial October 2004.


Engines of Creation Eric Drexler's groundbreaking 1986 book offers a mechanistic view of how nanotechnology might work.


Classical Magnitudes and Scaling Laws Eight mathematics-focused pages from Eric Drexler's Nanosystems


Interface Problem One of many topics addressed in a half-hour streaming video of venture capital investor Steve Jurvetson presenting at Stanford on nanotechnology from a business perspective


Biomimicry : innovation inspired by nature / Janine M. Benyus (T173.8 .B45 1997) Book on reserve at S&E Library.  Draws on solutions evolved by nature to guide our designs.


Field regulation of single-molecule conductivity by a charged surface atom, explains how a single molecule transistor works, in Nature 2 June 2005 page 658


Molecular mechanics / Ulrich Burkert, Norman L. Allinger (QD461.B974 1982) Book on reserve at S&E Library.  A classic 1982 text on "How atoms move and the forces that act upon them during their motion" 


The Feynman lectures on physics / Feynman, Leighton, Sands. (QC23.F47 1989) Chapters 38 and 39 discuss stiffness of materials, which which is particularly important at the nanoscale


A New Family of Six Degree Of Freedom Positional Devices A 1994 paper describing how to position molecular components


Computational nanotechnology  A 1991 paper describing the design for a molecular compiler


Nano-stamping makes its mark A June, 2005, report of a breakthrough process using DNA for making nanodevices far more easily and inexpensively.

Nanotechnology and the Double Helix A 2004 Scientific American introduction

Folding DNA to create nanscale shapes and patterns A 2006 paper in Nature


How does nanotechnology change?

Is Small the Next Big Thing?  February 2002 article on patterns in nanotechnological change.


The Perils of Prediction  September 2000 Foresight Institute article looks to historical patterns in technological change to consider the case of nanotechnology.


The machine that can copy anything  This 2005 CNN report on a "replicator" is not on the nanoscale, but does suggest ramifications of self-replication in nanotechnology.

Understanding the Acclerating Rate of Change  A 2003 interview with Ray Kurzweil on the forces causing technology, including nanotechnology, to change at a double exponential rate.


The Slowing Pace of Progress A US News & World Report article showing that the impact of technological change from 1950 to 2000 was less significant than that from 1900 to 1950.  This runs counter to Ray Kurzweil's position on accelerating change.


How E-Biz Rose, Fell, and Will Rise Anew A 2002 BusinessWeek article drawing parallels between change in several major technologies: the Internet, e-business, and railroads.  If nanotechnology booms in the coming decade, these patterns will be useful guides.


Niche construction : the neglected process in evolution / F. John Odling-Smee, Kevin N. Laland, and Marcus W. Feldman (QH546.3 .O35 2003) Book on reserve at S&E Library.  “Organisms do not simply 'adapt' to preexisting environments, but actively change and construct the world in which they live...”  May parallel evolution of nanotechnology.


Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance A 2002 report from the National Science Foundation on anticipated changes in and convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science.


How does nanotechnology change us?

Spies in the Skies Dust-sized surveillance nanobots could change our concept of privacy.  November 2000.


Age of Spiritual Machines / Ray Kurzweil (Q335 .K88 1999 ) Book on reserve at S&E Library.  Inventor and futurist describes a world transformed by accelerating technology, especially nanotechnology.  Worth checking out just for the timeline appendix, which covers the Big Bang to 2099.


Life in the Fourth Millennium An article by MIT psychology professor Steven Pinker on how humans will react to technology changing them.  "Science and technology could transform our world—if it weren’t for human nature."


How Nanowires and Nanotubes Just Might Improve Medicine and Homeland Security An article from Research Corporation (followed by a perspective on how education can become more interdisciplinary).


The Preparation  Speculation on how technological (not specifically nanotechnological) may interconnect human individuals into a "collective." This material is not from an unevaluated source.  Apply critical thinking skills to assess it.


Hey, We've Got History on Our Side  A humorous article from BusinessWeek in 2002 on what headlines might have read in the past when technologies were poised to "change everything," as some claim nanotechnology will do.


How do we change nanotechnology?

Communicating Science National Public Radio's Joe Palca explains how scientist should communicate with the public.  Speech given at New York Academy of Sciences Conference Designing Nanostructures: A Tutorial October 2004.


Regulatory issues Chapter 8 from a 2004 study published by The Royal Society of Canada entitled Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties.


"Societal and Ethical Implications of Nanotechnology": Meanings, Interest Groups, and Social Dynamics Research by Joachim Schummer of he University of Darmstadt into who influences the course of nanotechnology


The Study of Nanotechnology  Brief overview of fields of study to prepare for a career in nanotechnology


Food Biotech is Risky Business A 2003 article in Wired on how the absence of FDA (US Food & Drug Administration) regulation of GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) food is making major insurers reluctant to cover them.  Though this does not specifically address nanotechnology, it suggests that the risk assessment people working for insurance companies may influence what nanotechnology will be developed.


Support for Nanobots Shrinking  This 2003 Wired article reports that scientists are pushing nanotechnology in more mundane, practical directions than creating molecular machines.


The Drexler-Smalley Debate on Molecular Assembly A 2003 Ray Kurzweil essay on how we should pursue nanotechnology.


Nanotechnology essays at A series of essays including a debate between Drexler and Smalley on how we should pursue nanotechnology


Small Things and Big Changes in the Developing World A 2005 article in Science Magazine on how nanotechnology is being developed around the world


What are nanotechnology's costs and benefits?

Why The Future Does Not Need Us A landmark essay by Bill Joy on the dangers of genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and robotics.  This inspired many arguments and is must reading for the technologically literate.


The Big Down: Atomtech - Technologies Converging at the Nano-scale A 2003 report from the ETC Group on the risks of nanotechnology.  Also gives a useful overview of nanotechnology and the social / governmental context.  Also see The Little Big Down: A Small Introduction to Nano-scale Technologies


Possible adverse health, environmental and safety impacts Chapter 5 from a 2004 study published by The Royal Society of Canada entitled Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties.


New research raises questions about buckyballs and the environment Common carbon structures could impact soil bacteria.  May 2005


Nano Could Lead to New WMDs Nanotechnology weapons may be much harder to monitor and control than current weapons.  May 2005


Some Limits to Global Ecophagy by Biovorous Nanoreplicators, with Public Policy Recommendations How quickly could nanobots, if they were ever created, eat their way through all the life on earth?


When Nanopants Attack  Semi-nude protesters claim that the nanomaterials in pants that shed stains may be harmful to humans and environment (One instructor of this course wears these pants)


How do we evaluate nanotechnology?

Big Concern for Very Small Things  A 2004 article in Wired on the difficulty of evaluating toxicity of nanomaterials: "Something such as gold -- which is normally biologically inert -- is highly reactive and likely to disrupt biological processes when it's nanosized."


Nanotechnology Ethics An approach to balancing science and ethics, as well as industrialized countries and developing countries.  Peter Singer recommends speeding up the ethics instead of slowing down the science.  Speech given at New York Academy of Sciences Conference Designing Nanostructures: A Tutorial October 2004.


Nanotechnology and the Precautionary Principle Imperative A 2004 article by Peter Montague on why evaluating the potential harms of nanotechnology before developing it will be so important.


Social and ethical issues Chapter 6 from a 2004 study published by The Royal Society of Canada entitled Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties.


Recommendations Chapter 10 from a 2004 study published by The Royal Society of Canada entitled Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties.  Details suggested courses of action for Canada, giving one example of how a country may evaluate nanotechnology.


Will Prince Charles et al diminish the opportunities of developing countries in nanotechnology? A 2004 article arguing that the risks of nanotechnology are outweighed by the benefits, particularly as might accrue to underdeveloped countries.


Green Goo: The New Nano-Threat A 2004 article in Wired on potential dangers from nano-engineered biological forms or artificial life.  Addresses the Precautionary Principle.