The chemistry Nobel laureate Jean-Marie Lehn independently developed related ideas even earlier, but coming from a different direction. He and others argued that chemists would use the principles of self-organization to design molecules imbued with the information they needed to spontaneously assemble themselves into complex structures. In the 1980s, Lehn began calling this “informed matter,” which would be a kind of programmable matter constructed at the atomic and molecular scale.
Make Your Own World With Programmable Matter
By Philip Ball