Proposition of atomic and close-to-atomic scale manufacturing
Ju-Fan Zhang & Jens Ducree
Advances in Manufacturing
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Atomic and close-to-atomic scale manufacturing (ACSM) is the core competence of Manufacturing III. Unlike other conceptions or terminologies that only focus on the atomic level precision, ACSM defines a new realm of manufacturing where quantum mechanics plays the dominant role in the atom/molecule addition, migration and removal, considering the uncertainty principle and the discrete nature of particles.

As ACSM is still in its infant stage, only little has been systematically elaborated at the core proposition of ACSM by now, hence there is a need to understand its concept and vision. This article elucidates the development of ACSM and clarifies its proposition, which aims to achieve a clearer understanding on ACSM and direct more effective efforts toward this promising area.

The most precise mass production technologies today are still limited at the nanoscale, such as the 2-nm chips which have already been demonstrated. The success in nanomanufacturing does not mean that we could just miniaturise along the existing path, as a number of problems arise; the most disruptive one is the fundamental changes when the laws of quantum mechanics become dominant. The behaviour of objects at the atomic and molecular scale cannot be described by classical physics anymore, and follow the often counterintuitive rules of quantum mechanics.