Z. Ryan Tian and colleagues at the University of Arkansas have developed long nanowires that can be folded into 3D nanostructures like cups, bowls, and tubes:
"Humans have used paper made from natural fibers for thousands of years," said Z. Ryan Tian. "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.