The goal of the Atoms to Product (A2P) program is to develop the technologies and processes required to assemble nanometer-scale pieces, whose dimensions are near the size of atoms, into systems, components, or materials that are at least millimeter-scale in size. Many common materials exhibit unique and very uncommon physical characteristics when fabricated at nanometer-scale. These “atomic-scale” behaviors have potentially important defense applications, including quantized current-voltage behavior, dramatically lower melting points and significantly higher specific heats, for example. The challenge is how to retain the characteristics of materials at the atomic scale in much larger “product-scale” (typically a few centimeters) devices and systems.
While assembly is the primary focus of A2P, the second key program interest is the exploitation of unique nanometer-scale characteristics. Systems, components, or materials that result from A2P will leverage the unique material properties, miniaturization, 3-D architectures, and heterogeneity (material and geometric) enabled by nanometer-scale assembly.
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