Irish based scientists have discovered a way to make the so-called wonder material graphene self-assemble into different shapes.
The team found that they could make a one carbon atom thick sheet of the substance spontaneously fold into ribbons and other shapes while lying on a surface at room temperature.
The researchers at the Trinity College Dublin hosted AMBER material science centre say the finding will in the short-term simplify production of electronic and other devices in larger volumes.
But they also think that the prospect of self-assembly components could be an important aspect of electronics in the future.
Details of the study, which was led by Professor Graham Cross and Dr James Annett, were published in the journal Nature.
Dr Annett said he noticed that shapes were being formed when investigating the properties of graphene as a dry lubricant.
"When I looked more closely, I found that beautiful, well-defined structures had formed in the graphene sheets all by themselves," he said in a statement.
"I realised then that the methods we were using to investigate friction were actually configuring the graphene to spontaneously rearrange itself."
Although there is a huge amount of research ongoing in the area of graphene, scientists have until now struggled to find ways to make it pattern and assemble.
Graphene is considered a wonder material because scientists think its strength, lightness, and other amazing properties could make it indispensable in a range of applications, including smartphones, cars, aircraft, sensors and more.