Yet another sub-wavelength technology has been discovered, according to SpaceDaily:
Think of a microscopic milling machine, capable of cutting just about any material with better-than-laser precision, in 3-D -- and at the nanometer scale. In a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, University of Michigan researchers explain how and why using a femtosecond pulsed laser enables extraordinarily precise nanomachining.
This one is really powerful: it removes 20-nm chunks of material with a laser. The fact that it can even work in 3D, building tunnels, could make it a significant enabling technology for molecular manufacturing.
Elsewhere, Betterhumans has an article called "Nanoscale Manufacturing Possible with Enzyme Ink". It says:
Tiny patterns carved in gold have demonstrated the potential of an enzyme ink for nanoscale manufacturing. Researchers from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina say that the patterns are a proof of principle that enzymes, biological catalysts used widely in industry, can be used to create nanoscale structures.
"We wanted to see if we could steal functionality from biology to make the complex structures we need," says research leader and biomedical engineer Ashutosh Chilkoti. "In an afternoon, we inexpensively created a nanostructure that would have taken weeks to develop using expensive, traditional methods of etching circuits into chips."
Researchers are exploring different techniques for engineering nanoscale structures on an industrial scale. Few have laid down chemically active biological molecules on a surface, says Chilkoti. Writing with enzyme ink is therefore considered an important advance for nanoscale manufacturing.
Advancements such as these are not yet creating general-purpose molecular manufacturing. But they are rapidly filling the nano toolbox with techniques and capabilities that will enable the critical breakthrough far sooner than most people expect -- and maybe before we are prepared for the consequences.