‘Humans have used paper made from natural fibres 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 colour and resembles regular paper.
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 in the Journal of Physical Chemistry B.