Electrospinning of Hollow Nanofibers

Introduction One of the problems associated with nanoscale fabrication is the ability to manufacture hollow nanofibers made of polymers, ceramics, and composite materials. Other challenges include making the hollow nanofibers at varying lengths and aligning the completed fibers into specific orientations. Technology description Our researchers have developed new methods to manufacture polymeric, ceramic, and composite nanofibers through the use of electrospinning. These nanofibers can be made to varying lengths and inside and outside diameters. Other techniques have been developed to align the nanofibers uniaxially. Business opportunity Some of the potential applications for these hollow nanofibers include sensors, solar cells, batteries, supercapacitors, and actuators. These nanofibers may be incorporated into MEMS manufacturing processes and could be incorporated in microfluidic devices. When uniaxially aligned, the fibers can be positioned in alternating layers to form a nanoscale mesh or fabric of material. Stage of development Polymeric, ceramic, and composite nanofibers have been manufactured in a variety of lengths and inner and outer diameters. The manufacturing process is costefficient and easily scaled up. Intellectual property position The UW has applied for patent protection on this technology. Reference Nano Lett., 4(5), 933-938, 2004

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