Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities

© 1999 Robert A. Freitas Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Robert A. Freitas Jr., Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities, Landes Bioscience, Georgetown, TX, 1999


10.1.2 Artificial Nanoscale Oscillators

Nanorobot clocks must perform at least two critical functions: (1) Interval timing (measuring elapsed time between two or more sequential events) and chronometry (maintaining an onboard calendrical "standard time" in good calibration with an external time standard such as Coordinated Universal Time3027,3302). Complete clock design, including clutches, feedback mechanisms and governors, dampers and filters, triggers and strikers, amplifiers and mixers, phase detectors and counters, regenerative frequency dividers and frequency multipliers, and anti-vibration housings, is very complex and quite beyond the scope of this text. However, both timing and chronometry require a high-frequency oscillator of known and stable frequency, whose oscillations can then be counted for clocking purposes. If frequency multipliers can be built, then the primary oscillator need not be high frequency; the requirement for frequency stability is more fundamental. Timing accuracies of 1-1000 nanosec are typically needed for sensor (Chapter 4), navigation (Section 8.3.3), and computational (Section 10.2) applications, with operating frequencies up to nosc ~ 1 GHz and durations ranging from 1 microsec up to 105 sec (~1 day) between timed events or between clock recalibrations (Section 10.1.3). This Section presents a brief survey of several useful nanoscale oscillator systems.


Last updated on 23 February 2003