Strong, Long, Electrically Conductive and Insulated Coaxial Nanocables

Nanowires have found many applications over the past couple of decades, but existing fabrication methods can only make very short nanowires. We present a new method for making very strong, flexible, and centimeter long nanowires on polymer nanofibers. Single nanofibers of poly­(m-phenylene isophthalamide) with diameters in the range of 300–600 nm were prepared by electrospinning onto a rotating collector. These nanofibers were coated coaxially with a variety of metals and insulators to illustrate the materials generality of the methodology. The flexibility and compatibility with high-temperature deposition conditions (up to 350 °C) offered by this nanofiber scaffold pave the way for future nanowire applications enabled by increased lengths.