This invention describes the generation of a high power electrical pulse from sub-mm3 devices. A carbon nanotube, a high aspect-ratio molecule with a large phonon thermal conductivity, is used to launch a thermopower wave along its length, which provides a useable power pulse from a sub-micron scale component. The invention is implemented with an annular coating of a reactive, high energy chemical around a carbon nanotube or nanowires, or by depositing a thin layer on a graphene sheet. Upon decomposition of the energetic chemical, its heat of reaction funnels into the thermal conduit where the thermal wave propagates much faster than the bulk reaction. The directed wave pushes an accompanying electron wave that generates sizeable thermopower for a device of its size. Thus, this invention leads to thermal conductivities that often exceed those of conventional materials by orders of magnitude.