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Mesotubes and nanotubes

13.12.2006
Hollow fibers with inner diameters under 0.1 mm are versatile materials which are suitable as separation and storage media, as dielectrics, in medicine, electronics, catalysis, chemical analytics, osmosis and optics. Using previous production procedures it is impossible to manufacture hollow fibres with very small inner diameters, which are both mechanically and thermally stable. A new procedure permits the production of technically usable hollow fibres with inner diameters on the scale of nanometers: Template fibres consisting of degradable materials are produced with electrospinning techniques. They can be coated precisely with different materials. After having removed the template material, the resulting hollow fibres obtain their predefined, minute inner diameter and predetermined surface characteristics. The hollow fibers according to the invention can also obtain a core, and the core does not need to be in contact with the outer fiber wall.

The novel manufacturing procedure is suitable for all known polymers, but also for metals and inorganic metal-containing compounds.

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