NanoDesign: Concepts and Software for a
Nanotechnology Based on Functionalized Fullerenes
MRJ, Inc. at NASA Ames Research Center, and
Richard Jaffe, NASA Ames Research Center.
Eric Drexler [Drexler 92a] has proposed a hypothetical nanotechnology
based on diamond and investigated the properties of such molecular
systems. While attractive, diamonoid nanotechnology is not physically
accessible with straightforward extensions of current laboratory
techniques. We propose a nanotechnology based on functionalized
fullerenes and investigate carbon nanotube based gears with teeth
added via a benzyne reaction known to occur with C60 [Hoke 92].
The gears are single-walled carbon nanotubes with appended o-benzyne
groups for teeth.
Fullerenes are in widespread laboratory use and can be functionalized
in many ways [Diederich 96]. Companion papers computationally
demonstrate the properties of these gears (they appear to work) [Han
96] and the accessibility of the benzyne/nanotube reaction [Jaffe 96a].
This paper describes the molecular design techniques and rationale as
well as the software that implements these design techniques. The
software is a set of persistent C++ [Stroustrup 91] objects controlled
by TCL [Ousterhout 94] command scripts.
The c++/tcl interface is automatically generated by a software
system called tcl_c++ developed by the author and described here.
The objects keep track of different portions of the molecular
machinery to allow different simulation techniques and boundary
conditions to be applied as appropriate. This capability has been
required to demonstrate (computationally) our gear's feasibility
A new distributed software architecture featuring a WWW
universal client, CORBA distributed objects, and agent software is
The software architecture is
intended to eventually enable a widely disbursed group to develop complex
simulated molecular machines.
To the full paper.
To companion papers.
Web Work: Al Globus