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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Robert Bogue

This paper aims to provide an overview of the strategies and techniques being used and developed for the fabrication of nanoscale devices.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide an overview of the strategies and techniques being used and developed for the fabrication of nanoscale devices.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper discusses various nanofabrication technologies and strategies and highlights their merits and limitations. It concludes with a consideration of longer‐term possibilities.

Findings

It is shown that top‐down nanofabrication frequently uses lithographic and other techniques derived from the microtechnology industry but recent research appears to have identified a limit to its capabilities. Bottom‐up nanofabrication is less well‐developed but techniques such as molecular mechanosynthesis may offer unique capabilities in the longer‐term.

Originality/value

The paper provides a timely review of the rapidly developing field of nanofabrication technology.

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Konstantin Vishnevskiy and Andrei Yaroslavtsev

The purpose of this paper is to apply Foresight methodology to the area of nanotechnologies and new materials within the framework of Russian S&T Foresight 2030 aimed at…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply Foresight methodology to the area of nanotechnologies and new materials within the framework of Russian S&T Foresight 2030 aimed at revelation of major trends, most promising products and technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve this goal, best international practice was analyzed that provided a solid basis for Russian S&T Foresight 2030 (section “Nanotechnology and new materials”). The study used a wide range of advanced Foresight methods adapted to Russian circumstances. During the Foresight study, the authors integrated “market pull” and research “technology push” approaches including both traditional methods (priority-setting, roadmaps, global challenges analysis) and relatively new approaches (horizon scanning, weak signals, wild cards, etc.).

Findings

Using the methods of the Foresight, the authors identified trends with the greatest impact on the sphere of nanotechnology and new materials, promising markets, product groups and potential areas of demand for Russian innovation technologies and developments in this field. The authors assessed the state-of-the-art of the domestic research in the area of nanotechnologies and new materials to identify “white spots”, as well as parity zone and leadership, which can be the basis for integration into international alliances and positioning of Russia as a center of global technological development in this field.

Originality/value

The results of applying Foresight methodology toward revelation of the most prospective S&T areas in the field of nanotechnologies and new materials can be used by a variety of stakeholders including federal and regional authorities, technology platforms and innovation and industrial clusters, leading universities and scientific organizations in formulation of their research and strategic agenda. Russian businesses including both large companies and small and medium-sized enterprises can use results of the study in creating their strategic R&D programs and finding appropriate partners.

Details

foresight, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 30 October 2018

Phil Torres

This paper provides a detailed survey of the greatest dangers facing humanity this century. It argues that there are three broad classes of risks – the “Great Challenges”…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper provides a detailed survey of the greatest dangers facing humanity this century. It argues that there are three broad classes of risks – the “Great Challenges” – that deserve our immediate attention, namely, environmental degradation, which includes climate change and global biodiversity loss; the distribution of unprecedented destructive capabilities across society by dual-use emerging technologies; and value-misaligned algorithms that exceed human-level intelligence in every cognitive domain. After examining each of these challenges, the paper then outlines a handful of additional issues that are relevant to understanding our existential predicament and could complicate attempts to overcome the Great Challenges. The central aim of this paper is to constitute an authoritative resource, insofar as this is possible in a scholarly journal, for scholars who are working on or interested in existential risks. In the author’s view, this is precisely the sort of big-picture analysis that humanity needs more of, if we wish to navigate the obstacle course of existential dangers before us.

Design/methodology/approach

Comprehensive literature survey that culminates in a novel theoretical framework for thinking about global-scale risks.

Findings

If humanity wishes to survive and prosper in the coming centuries, then we must overcome three Great Challenges, each of which is sufficient to cause a significant loss of expected value in the future.

Originality/value

The Great Challenges framework offers a novel scheme that highlights the most pressing global-scale risks to human survival and prosperity. The author argues that the “big-picture” approach of this paper exemplifies the sort of scholarship that humanity needs more of to properly understand the various existential hazards that are unique to the twenty-first century.

Details

foresight, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Leonid Gokhberg, Alexander Sokolov and Alexander Chulok

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of the recent Russian Science and Technology Foresight – a full-fledged study targeted at the identification of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of the recent Russian Science and Technology Foresight – a full-fledged study targeted at the identification of the most promising areas of science and technology (S&T) development in Russia towards 2030 to ensure the realisation of the nation’s competitive advantages. It was organised as a complex project involving dozens of organizations performing particular tasks under the overall coordination by the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) and more than 2,000 experts in various S&T fields.

Design/methodology/approach

Its methodology embraced a set of qualitative and quantitative methods and combined technology push and market pool approaches. For seven S&T areas (information and communication technologies, biotechnologies, medicine and health, new materials and nanotechnologies, rational use of nature, transportation and space systems, energy efficiency and energy saving), the following types of results have been obtained: global trends, national challenges and windows of opportunities; new markets and niches; innovation products and services; prospective technologies and R&D fields (50 thematic groups, over 1,000 items for all areas); assessment of the country’s positions vis-à-vis global leaders; recommendations for S&T and innovation policies.

Findings

The paper covers prospective drivers of economic growth and relevant implications for anticipatory evidence-based policy; discussions of national challenges and building a common vision of the future among key stakeholders; the role of Foresight in particular as a communication platform that helps integrating stakeholder interests; strengthening existing and developing new capacities to increase national competitiveness; and to move up along existing and emerging global value chains.

Originality/value

The Russian S&T Foresight, being deeply integrated in the national policy, can be considered as an exemplar tool for “wiring up” the national innovation system (NIS) of an emerging economy with its specific features and problems facing large-scale challenges.

Details

foresight, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2020

Jose Orlando Montes and F. Xavier Olleros

This article explores a particular on-demand fabrication unit, the microfactory (MF). It identifies and contrasts several MFs and proposes a taxonomy. This research also…

Abstract

Purpose

This article explores a particular on-demand fabrication unit, the microfactory (MF). It identifies and contrasts several MFs and proposes a taxonomy. This research also explores online manufacturing platforms (OMP) that complement certain MFs.

Design/methodology/approach

This research implements a multiple case study (71 cases in 21 countries), triangulating data available on the web with interviews, virtual/physical tours and experiential research.

Findings

The results suggest that automation and openness are the main dimensions that differentiate the MFs. Using these dimensions, a taxonomy of MFs is created. MFs with relatively low automation and high openness tend to be innovation-driven microfactories (IDMFs). MFs with high automation and low openness levels tend to be customization-driven microfactories (CDMFs). And MFs with relatively low automation and low openness tend to be classic machine shops (MSs). There are two types of OMP: closed (COMPs) and multisided (MOMPs). MOMPs can be low-end or high-end.

Practical implications

In a world where online platforms are becoming central to the reinvention of manufacturing, multisided online platforms and small fabricators will become strongly symbiotic.

Originality/value

This paper offers a clearer conceptualization of MFs and OMPs, which may help to better understand the reality of local on-demand fabrication. Moreover, it explores a new type of experiential research, which tries to describe and interpret firms through transactional activities. Many details of a firm that are difficult to capture via interviews and netnography can be revealed this way.

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2019

Samir Mekid and Salem Bashmal

Novel nanomaterials and nano-devices require further functional aspects that can be designed and supported using new nanomanipulation techniques allowing specific…

Abstract

Purpose

Novel nanomaterials and nano-devices require further functional aspects that can be designed and supported using new nanomanipulation techniques allowing specific functions at the design phase. The nano-manipulator becomes a key instrument for technology bridging sub-nano to mesoscale. The integration of various operations in nano-devices requires sub-nanometer precision and highly stable manipulator. This paper aims to review various design concepts of recent nanomanipulators, their motion characteristics, basic functions, imagine and automation with control techniques for the sake of establishing new design features based on recent requirements.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews various existing nanomanipulators, their motion characteristics, basic functions, imagine and automation with control techniques. This will support precision machine design methodology and robotics principles.

Findings

The availability of a nano-precision instrument with integrated functions has proved to be extremely helpful in addressing various fundamental problems in science and engineering such as exploring, understanding, modeling and testing nano-machining process; exact construction of nano-structure arrays; and inspection of devices with complex features.

Originality/value

New functional specifications have emerged from this review to support the design and make of new advanced nanomanipulators with more features availability to support manipulation within the same reference datum needed for research and education.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Gianmauro Fontana, Serena Ruggeri, Irene Fassi and Giovanni Legnani

The purpose of this paper was the design, development, and test of a flexible and reconfigurable experimental setup for the automatic manipulation of microcomponents…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was the design, development, and test of a flexible and reconfigurable experimental setup for the automatic manipulation of microcomponents, enhanced by an accurately developed vision-based control.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve a flexible and reconfigurable system, an experimental setup based on 4 degrees of freedom robot and a two-camera vision system was designed. Vision-based strategies were adopted to suitably support the motion system in easily performing precise manipulation operations. A portable and flexible program, incorporating the machine vision module and the control module of the task operation, was developed. Non-conventional calibration strategies were also conceived for the complete calibration of the work-cell. The developed setup was tested and exploited in the execution of repetitive tests of the grasping and releasing of microcomponents, testing also different grasping and releasing strategies.

Findings

The system showed its ability in automatically manipulating microcomponents with two different types of vacuum grippers. The performed tests evaluated the success and precision of the part grasping and release, which is a crucial aspect of micromanipulation. The results confirm reliability in grasping and that the release is precluded by adhesive effects. Thus, different strategies were adopted to improve the efficiency in the release of stuck components without negatively affecting the accuracy nor the repeatability of the positioning.

Originality/value

This work provided a flexible and reconfigurable architecture devoted to the automatic manipulation of microcomponents, methodologies for the characterization of different vacuum microgrippers, and quantitative information about their performance, to date missing in literature.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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