In the light of yesterday’s post, I wondered about progress in attempts to combine microelectromechanical systems and scanning probe microscopy. I looked in this direction because I had learned that it took the team at Rice eight years to figure out ways to reliably make their little bucky-wheeled chassis with conventional chemistry. They had to think up very clever ways to coax the molecules to assemble that way. Imagine if they had a better way?
It’s my opinion that microelectromechanical scanning probe instruments (A technical noun stack coming to Wikipedia any day now.) provide that better way. I think it’s the one thing that will crack the nanotech nut open and make further progress easy.
So I checked a search engine and got back about 50 hits, most of which are in Adobe’s document format. (This was annoying but, sadly, it makes sense since support for MathML, ChemML and other markups for scientific notation has limited support. That’s a rant for another day.) It looks like research in this area is pretty furious in Asia, Europe and North America. I’m just waiting for this shoe to drop.