They might not look like your Ford F-150 or Toyota Camry, but a new generation of nanocars and nanotrucks (along with nanotrains and even nanobackhoes) could eventually build anything from computer memory chips to entire buildings, atom by atom.
Now they don’t even have to be built; some nanomachines can build themselves, according to an upcoming study.
“Most things that people build are top-down. You cut down a tree to build a table,” said James Tour, a scientist at Rice University and co-author on the upcoming study, which will appear in the upcoming issue of the new journal Tetrahedron.
“But what if you could make the table from assembling molecules together from the bottom up?” said Tour.