Robert Freitas and Ralph Merkle and others in the Nanofactory Collaboration have written a response indicating why they have chosen the direct to diamondoid development path.
Our assessment is that diamondoid mechanosynthesis (DMS), including highly-parallelized atomically-precise diamondoid fabrication, is the quickest currently feasible route to a mature molecular nanotechnology, including nanofactories.
We do not think that DMS is a “necessary first step” for molecular manufacturing, and we wish the best of luck to those pursuing other paths. However, we do think DMS is a highly desirable first step, since it offers a much faster route to mature nanosystems than competing approaches. We disagree with the statement that “diamond synthesis seems almost irrelevant to progress toward advanced nanosystems.” We have a favorable view of the feasibility of the direct-to-DMS approach – a favorable view supported by hundreds of pages of detailed analysis in recently-published peer-reviewed technical journal papers and by gradually-evolving mainstream opinion.
Some widespread ideas about research objectives [towards Modular Molecular Composite Nanosystems”]
-seem absurd to most scientists
-are inconsistent with my ideas and publications
-are nonetheless widely attributed to me
I really dislike ideas like these, and all the more so when the ideas have spawned a jumble of misconceptions that impede progress. Some ideas about diamond synthesis are are in this category.