Animated Nanofactory in Action

 

A nanofactory, as the name implies, is a device or system that can assemble products at molecular level.  Products of nanotechnology are already in our midst, but most of these are passive consumer products such as coating materials and pharmaceuticals.  Nanofactories that produce macroscopic active consumer products (such as laptops as depicted in this animation) will be in the realm of science fiction for two more decades.

We know, however, that the building blocks of these nanofactories someday are already here in the form of microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, which are semiconductor devices with mechanical moving parts.  Today, MEMS applications include those in optical micromirrors for guided-wave optical switching applications and accelerometers for automotive airbag deployment systems, gaming console interfaces, etc.

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