Ark. - University of Arkansas researchers have created
assemblies of nanowires that show potential in applications
such as armor, flame-retardant fabric, bacteria filters,
oil cracking, controlled drug release, decomposition
of pollutants and chemical warfare agents.
two-dimensional "paper" can
be shaped into three-dimensional devices. It can
be folded, bent and cut, or used as a filter, yet
it is chemically inert, remains robust and can
be heated up to 700 degrees Celsius.
"Humans have used paper made from natural fibers for
thousands of years," said Z. Ryan Tian, assistant professor
of chemistry and biochemistry in the J. William Fulbright
College of Arts and Sciences. "With this technology,
we are entering a new era."
Tian and his team used
a hydrothermal heating process to create long nanowires
out of titanium dioxide and from there created free-standing membranes.
The resulting material is white in color and resembles
regular paper. Further, the material can be cast
into different three-dimensional shapes, with different
functions. The researchers have created tubes, bowls and cups using this
process. These three-dimensional hollow objects
can be manipulated by hand and trimmed with scissors,
the researchers report.
The university has applied for patent protection on the process used to create
the free-standing membranes for filtration and catalysis, and is looking for
industrial partners to license and commercialize various applications of the
Z. Ryan Tian, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
(479) 575-2653, firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Lutz Blouin, managing editor for science and research communications
(479) 575-5555, email@example.com