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 Grinding

Two substances of nearly equal hardness can scratch each other, so a set of corrugated sacrificial diamond grinding elements can be used to mechanically grind or saw the target mass into nanometer-scale particulate waste. This process consumes a volume of grinder mechanism which is approximately equal to the volume of the target, hence is relatively energy inefficient because, in addition to the power dissipated by grinding, the sacrificial grinders must then be rebuilt which requires another expenditure of a similar magnitude of energy for fabrication. At least twice the volume of the original target in particulates is produced by this process. Alternatively, two or more diamond targets may be rubbed against each other destructively, most efficiently after the manner of a macroscale ball mill. Note that diamond detritus may be ground, though less efficiently, by sacrificial grinders comprised of materials of lesser hardness or strength -- for example, cubic boron nitride or borazon, first synthesized in 1957, scratches diamond with ease.


Last updated on 21 February 2003