Eric Drexler is of course the originator of key concepts and seminal works in molecular manafacturing. He originated advanced nanotechnology in Engines of Creation and Nanosystems.
He introduces a novel carbon-transfer tool design(named “DC10c”), the first predicted to exhibit key properties in combination.
The abstract is as follows:
Mechanosynthesis of a target class of graphene-, nanotube-, and diamond-like structures will require molecular tools capable of transferring carbon moieties to structures that have binding energies in the range of 1.105 to 1.181 aJper atom (159 to 170 kcal mol−1). Desirable properties for tools include exoergic transfer of moieties to these structures; good geometrical exposure of moieties; and structural, electronic, and positional stability. We introduce a novel carbon-transfer tool design (named by us “DC10c”), the first predicted to exhibit these properties in combination. The DC10c tool is a stiff hydrocarbon structure that binds carbon dimers through strained sigma-bonds. On dimer removal, diradical generation at the dimer-binding sites is avoided by means of pi-delocalization across the binding face of the empty form, creating a strained aromatic ring. Transfer of carbon dimers to each of the structures in the target class is exoergic by a mean energy >0.261 aJper
dimer (>38 kcal mol−1); this is compatible with transfer-failure rates of ∼10−24 per operation at 300 K. We present a B3LYP/6-31G(d,p) study of the geometry and energetics of DC10c, together with discussion of its anticipated reliability in mechanosynthetic applications.
Keywords: Quantum Chemistry, Mechanosynthesis, Graphene, Graphite, Diamond, Nanotube,
Productive Nanosystems, Molecular Manufacturing, Nanotechnology.
Some chemistry definitions are here
Long and medium goals in nanotechnology presentation by Ralph Merkle
Theoretical analysis of a carbon-carbon dimer placement tool for diamond mechanosynthesis by Ralph Merkle and Robert Freitas
Hydrogen abstraction tool analysis by Ralph Merkle
Comprehensive molecular assembler reference by Ralph Merkle and Robert Freitas
Other papers by Ralph Merkle