A Mighty Fine Web

Scientists at the University of California have created hollow tubes by repeatedly dipping silk from a spiders web into a solution, much like dipping a candle. The coated fibers are then baked, burning away the silk, and causing the coating to shrink, leaving a hollow, optical tube as small as 2 nanometers.

These tiny tubes can be used to explore the “supramolecular” world, perhaps replacing the electron microscope for examining objects smaller than the wavelengths of light.


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