Self Assembly

Self assembly is the process of small components (often at the molecular level) using simple rules to combine into complex formations. Self assembly can be guided with electrostatic fields, principles of chemistry, crystallization, fluidics or even bio-genetics.

See also – Self Organizing

Self-Assembly for Nanotechnology – []

Everyone knows how to assemble things: Just grasp the parts and put them together. Self-assembly, though, doesn’t work at all like this, and as a consequence, it presents special challenges. Despite its inherent difficulties and limitations, self-assembly is the leading means for implementing atomically precise nanotechnologies today, and I expect it will lead for years to come. Self-assembly is a powerful method, and powerful enough to provide a path to nanotechnologies that are yet more powerful. Improving methods for making complex structures by self-assembly is an enormously important area of research.

I’ve already discussed the near-term promise of nanotechnologies based on composite nanosystems that use biomolecules to organize non-biological components. Here, I’d like to outline some fundamental principles will shape the role of self-assembly as nanotechnology advances. (I will say more soon on

From Self-Asembly to Mechanosynthesis – []

Assembly by Soft Machines
Along the spectrum of possible assembly methods, those that exploit weak motion constraints occupy a strategic position between pure self-assembly and strongly directed mechanosynthesis.

In pure self-assembly, Brownian motion is unconstrained, components encounter one another randomly, and only distinct and specific binding interactions can bring them together to form a specific, complex structure.

How falling spaghettis could lead to more complex nanotechnology self-assembly – []

Nanowerk Spotlight) Self-assembly and self-organization are terms (read this discussion about the difference between the two) used to describe processes in which a disordered system of pre-existing components forms an organized structure or pattern as a consequence of specific, local interactions among the components themselves, without external direction. Self-organizing processes are common throughout nature and involve components from the molecular (e.g. protein folding) to the planetary scale (e.g. weather systems) and even beyond (e.g. galaxies). Self-assembly has become an especially important concept in nanotechnology. As miniaturization reaches the nanoscale, conventional manufacturing technologies fail because it has not been possible (yet) to build machinery that assembles nanoscale components into functional devices (for more on this, read Mind the gap – nanotechnology robotics vision versus lab reality). Until robotic assemblers capable of nanofabrication can be built, self-assembly – together with chemical synthesis – will be the necessary technology to develop for bottom-up fabrication.

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  1. […] See also – Self Assembly […]

  2. […] ALSO: Self Assembly Self Organizing Cellular Automata Swarm Intelligence Feynman Path Center for Bits and Atoms Share […]

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