Dendrimers: From the Greek word dendra - tree, a dendrimer is a polymer that branches.


Design Ahead: The use of known principles of science and engineering to design systems that can only be built with tools not yet available; this allows faster exploitation of the abilities of new tools.


Design Diversity: A form of redundancy, in which components of different designs serve the same purpose; this can enable systems to function properly despite design flaws.


Diamondoid: Structures that resemble diamond in a broad sense, strong stiff structures containing dense, three dimensional networks of covalent bonds, formed chiefly from first and second row atoms, with a valence of three or more. Many of the most useful diamondoid structures will in fact, be rich in tetrahedrally coordinated carbon.


Directed-Assembler: A specific type of assembler that makes use of directed-assembly, such that the assembly process requires external energy or information input.


Disassembler: An instrument able to take apart structures a few atoms at a time, recording structural information at each step. This could be used for uploading, copying objects (with an assembler), a dissolving agent or a weapon.


Disruptive Technology: Technology that is significantly cheaper than current, is much higher performing, has greater functionality, and is frequently more convenient to use. Will revolutionise markets by superseding existing technology. "Paradigm shifting" is a well-worn connotation. Although the term may sound negative to some, it is in fact neutral. It is only negative when businesses who are unprepared for change fail to adapt, only to fall behind and fail. The results are not evolutionary, they are revolutionary


DNA Chip: also: Gene Chip and DNA Microchip. A purpose built microchip used to identify mutations or alterations in a gene's DNA.


Dopeyballs: Superconducting Buckyballs (they) have the highest critical temperature of any known organic compound.


Dry Nanotechnology: derives from surface science and physical chemistry, focuses on fabrication of structures in carbon (e.g. fullerenes and nanotubes), silicon, and other inorganic materials. Unlike the "wet" technology, "dry" techniques admit use of metals and semiconductors. The active conduction electrons of these materials make them too reactive to operate in a "wet" environment, but these same electrons provide the physical properties that make "dry" nanostructures promising as electronic, magnetic, and optical devices. Another objective is to develop "dry" structures that possess some of the same attributes of the self-assembly that the wet ones exhibit. [Rice University]