A two-dimensional “paper” made out of titanium-dioxide – also known as TiO2, titania and titanium white – nanowires has been developed. The nanowires have a diameter of 60 nanometers (a nanometer equals one billionth of meter ) and are 30 to 40 millimeters long. The nanowires can withstand temperatures up to 700 degrees Celsius and could provide solutions for a variety of applications, including chemical and water filtration, solar cells, drug delivery and non-woven textiles stable at high-temperature.
“It is unprecedented to have such a pure fiber,” said James Throckmorton, president of Intellectual Property Partners LLC, which acquired the technology from Z. Ryan Tian, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Arkansas. “In addition to withstanding extreme temperatures, titanium-dioxide-based nanowires can be used in concentrated, strong chemical acids and bases. We’re excited to offer this patent-pending technology to a company that can bring it to market.”
In 2006, Tian and his research team published the findings in the Journal of Physical Chemistry B. They reported that the material could be folded, cut and shaped into three-dimensional devices. The researchers used a hydrothermal heating process to create long nanowires out of titanium dioxide. From there, they created free-standing membranes. The resulting material resembled regular, white paper. The researchers also created tubes, bowls and cups with the material.