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Keywords:

  • spider silk;
  • thermal conductivity;
  • specific heat;
  • self-assembled hierarchical structure;
  • oriented beta sheet
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Two new significant discoveries are reported: i) the dragline silk of N. clavipes spider has an exceptionally high thermal conductivity: up to 416 W/m·K that beats most materials; ii) contrary to normal materials, its thermal conductivity increases with strain (19% increase under ∼20% strain). These new findings will revolutionize the design of polymer fibers to increase their thermal conductivity by orders of magnitude.