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New catalytic process to grow inorganic nanotubes

Technology Number: 


Principal Investigator



Materials and Interfaces

A new process for the synthesis of MoS2 nanotubes using lead as a growth promotor.
This procedure facilitates the large scale production of MoS2 nanotubes, as previous scaling-up attempts were proven problematic, and can be implemented in production of other INTs, such as NbS2 and TaS2, which is currently not possible.
In view of the expanding market of composite materials with improved mechanical, electrical and thermal properties, and considering the inherent advantages of production and stability of inorganic nanotubes compared with the organic ones, there is a growing need for implementing new production processes of nanomaterials.


  • Large scale production of INTs
  • Production of new INTs with new properties


  • Scalable synthesis of inorganic nanotubes
  • Production of new INT's not possible so far

Technology's Essence

The invention involves introducing soft metals (Pb, Bi and others- denoted "A") in catalytic amounts to the metal-chalcogenide (denoted "MX2" with X=S, Se) raw material. The soft metals act as growth promotors to the metal-sub-oxide phase, in presence of oxygen (as water vapor or soft-metal-oxide) facilitating the formation of metal-sub-oxide nanowhiskers, which then function as scaffolds for the formation of the desired metal-chalcogenide nanotubes.
The result is formation of MX2 nanotubes containing a minute amount of M-doping and intercalation.
This novel technology entails great potential in the growing market of inorganic nanotubes, with applications in lubrication (oils, automotive, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and more), shock absorption, composites, coatings and their applications in multiple industries, and more.

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