The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Advanced Manufacturing Projects for Emerging Research Exploration recently announced a funding opportunity (FOA) that includes a range of topics in advanced materials and processes, and explicitly includes a subtopic on Atomically Precise Manufacturing (APM). DoE has been soliciting SBIR projects in this space for several years now but this is the first AMO R&D Projects FOA in this space. In addition, the application space has been expanded from the SBIR offerings, and responsive concept papers and proposals will include atomically precise membranes and catalysts, sensors, molecular electronic computer circuits, and also tools and systems to perform APM through positional assembly (whether tip-based, or molecular machine-based--aka molecular additive manufacturing). The Atomically Precise Manufacturing subtopic is described below.
Subtopic 1.5 Atomically Precise Manufacturing: Atomically precise manufacturing is the production of materials, structures, devices, and finished goods in a manner such that every atom is at its specified location relative to the other atoms, and in which there are no defects, missing atoms, extra atoms, or incorrect (impurity) atoms. In current practice, atomically precise molecular sheets are possible using macromolecular chemistry with densely packed designs for near zero defects, and full crosslinking for near theoretical strength and chemical stability. Spiroligomers, Metal Organic Frameworks, engineered proteins, enzymes, ribozymes, peptoids, and engineered DNA and RNA are examples of atomically precise building blocks that can be crafted for macromolecular assemblies, or which can be designed as atomically precise receptor sites to catalyze chemical reactions. In future practice, more complex atomically precise structures and devices could be fabricated using positional assembly with advanced scanning probe systems, or with integrated nanosystems for molecular additive manufacturing. Advances in these current or future practice techniques will be considered for funding for high-energy impact applications such as (but not limited to) atomically precise membranes, atomically precise catalysts, molecular electronic computer circuits, and high sensitivity molecular sensors.