Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believe they have moved a step closer towards revolutionising the world of sensors.
Taking electromechanical devices down to the level of nanoelectromechanical systems (Nimes) requires finding a way to dissipate the heat output of the device.
Professor Markus Buehler and his postdoctoral associate Zhiping Xu believe the solution may be to build these devices using a thermal material that dissipates heat through a hierarchical branched network of carbon nanotubes.
"The structure now used when designing materials with carbon nanotubes resembles spaghetti," explained Professor Buehler.
"We show that a precise arrangement of carbon nanotubes similar to those found in the cytoskeleton of cells will create a thermal material that effectively dissipates heat."
It is believed that the discovery could change the way nanodevices are designed and manufactured in the future.
Professor Buehler recently described the optimal arrangement of proteins as a potential means of optimising nanoscale design.