Novel fibrous shaped silica nanospheres, denoted as KCC-1 (KAUST Catalysis Centre),  have unique physical properties which have never before been reported in silica materials. These nanomaterials have been developed by Professor J. M. Basset of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
A fibrous surface morphology arranged in three-dimensional structure forms the spheres (Fig. 1). Unlike traditional pore-based silica, these nanospheres possess a fibrous structure that increases accessibility of the available surface area; this in turn, significantly increases the catalytic activity.
These materials exhibit excellent physical properties, including a high surface area, a fibrous surface morphology, good thermal and hydrothermal stabilities and high mechanical stability (Table 1). The fibrous morphology of remains unaffected even after mechanical compression up to 216 MPa pressure. This is superior compared to the conventional MCM-41 type of silica, which is affected at a pressure of 86 MPa. 
A range of heterogeneous catalysts, prepared using KCC-1 as a supporting material, have been showing excellent catalytic activity for various transformations of research and industrial importance. As a catalyst support, sorbent or carrier, KCC-1 is able to demonstrate superior activity as compared to regular mesoporous silica materials in energy related processes, [2-3] a variety of organic reactions, [4-7] biomedical applications and drug delivery systems , optoelectronic devices  and many others.