January 28, 2003

The Big Down

Atomtech - Technologies Converging at the Nano-scale

The key technologies of the past half-century—transistors, semiconductors, and genetic engineering—have all been about down— reducing size, materials and costs while increasing power. We are about to take a much bigger step down. Our capacity to manipulate matter is moving from genes to atoms. While civil society and governments focus on genetic modification, an impressive array of industrial enterprises is targeting a scientific revolution that could modify matter and transform every aspect of work and life. This report introduces a set of tools and techniques we call Atomtechnologies, which includes nanoparticles, nano biotechnology, nanofabrication and molecular manufacture. It also describes the coming convergence of biotechnology, information technologies,

and cognitive sciences with nano-scale manipulation of matter as the unifying force. Section I (What is Atomtech?) introduces the technologies and Section III (Will Atomtechnologies work?) provides four criteria for measuring the commercial prospects.

Hard copies are available for US$10.00. To order, contact: etc@etcgroup.org

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