DARPA has created the Atoms to Product (A2P) program to help overcome the challenges of working at the nanoscale to 100 microns. The program seeks to develop enhanced technologies for assembling atomic-scale pieces. It also seeks to integrate these components into materials and systems from nanoscale up to product scale in ways that preserve and exploit distinctive nanoscale properties.
“We want to explore new ways of putting incredibly tiny things together, with the goal of developing new miniaturization and assembly methods that would work at scales 100,000 times smaller than current state-of-the-art technology,” said John Main, DARPA program manager. “If successful, A2P could help enable creation of entirely new classes of materials that exhibit nanoscale properties at all scales. It could lead to the ability to miniaturize materials, processes and devices that can’t be miniaturized with current technology, as well as build three-dimensional products and systems at much smaller sizes.”
This degree of scaled assembly is common in nature, Main continued. “Plants and animals, for example, are effectively systems assembled from atomic- and molecular-scale components a million to a billion times smaller than the whole organism. We’re trying to lay a similar foundation for developing future materials and devices.”
DARPA’s Atoms to Product (A2P) program seeks to develop enhanced technologies for assembling atomic-scale items, and integrating these components into materials and systems from nanoscale up to product scale in ways that preserve and exploit distinctive nanoscale properties.