Nowadays all around the world traditional materials (like metals, plastics, glass) are at a fast pace replaced in use by advanced composite materials, which in nearest future perspective will be replaced by nanocomposites. Modern aircrafts are made with more than 50% from new materials, and nanomaterials allow for devices with partial invisibility, implanted computers and a wide variety of other new properties.
The most promising way of development of nanotechnology even in mid-term perspective is "molecular nanotechnology" - a technology to create functional molecular devices, that are capable of dealing with complex tasks (from self-cleansing and self-repair to making other molecular objects).
According to world's leading specialists in molecular nanotechnology E. Drexler, R.Merkle and R. Freitas, the main obstacle for its development is that there is no well-developed computer-aided desing system (CAD) for desinging nanomechanical devices.
"NanoCAD", a radically innovative project of RTM, is meant to solve this very problem. Its goal is to develop computer-aided design system to develop and design "metamaterials" (complex nanocomposite materials with new properties) and nanomolecular devices.
Virtual and augmented reality combined together with a system of real-time simulation of nanodevices and nanomaterials in one interface will help engineers to get intuitive visualization of new materials' and devices characteristics, which often behave unlike common large-scale objects (for example, it might have negative refraction index).
Project's site: www.nanoinv.ru
History and future plans
In "NanoCAD" working environment developer will be able to create molecular structures, operating individual atoms, combine them into parts of a nanodevice, and eventually create a finished device via object-oriented approach.
After this is done, programm will proceed with molecular sumulations, and on last stage "NanoCAD" will generate instructions for automated synthesis.
Thus, "NanoInventor" CAD, if successfully developed, will provide a wide range of benefits to nanotechnology development.
The very existence of advanced nanotechnology is just unreal without available advanced CADs to design complex nanosystems. Forward-looking planning of what nanotech products we would like to have will define the ways of development of corresponding experimental assembly methods. Preliminary accumulated componental basis for nanodevices will provide successful continuous development of nanotechnology, while availability of public componental libraries will allow to avoid situations, when first developer would get almost unlimited powers with not guaranteed good intensions.
A possibility to visually see all the rich perspectives of nanotechnology implementation in schemes and models will stimulate development of effective methods to produce complex nanotech systems, and will also allow to avoid a possible break in progressing on a step, when assembly methods already exist, while projected devices, that engineers can provide, do not fully use it. Finally, "NanoCAD" will aloow to effectively solve theretical scientific problems, related to development of production methods.
What about today:
As it was mentioned before, nowadays computer simulation plays a key role in the progress of nanotechnology, and this role becomes more and more important with cheapening of computers and experimental equipment growing in price. An available CAD, needed for integrated environment for wide-scale physical simulation (from the very first principles of quantum chemistry to solid materials mechanics, with processes with from femto- to microseconds and longer time scale) will support the acceleration of science and technical progress even now - in tasks, such as simulation of components and schemes for molecular and optical electronics, nanoelectromechanic devices, super-tough and energetic materials, catalyzers for chemical and elecrochemical reactions, complex self-assembling systems, bionanostructures and so on.
Project's expenditure: Development of a CAD for designing nanomechanical devices: $5-30 millions. Development of VR-interface, that will allow to manually operate matter on atomic level: $5-15 millions.
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