Vantablack, the blackest material ever made

Vantablack, the blackest material ever made

Illustrative image - Black color.

© Provided by Gentside
Illustrative image – Black color.

It is sometimes said of a black that it is deep, but then how to qualify a so intense black that one can no longer even distinguish its relief? Vantablack is the blackest material ever, it absorbs 99.965% of incident light. Developed by the British firm Surrey Nanosystems, it was the subject of a publication in the review Optics Express in 2014.

To obtain a black capable of trapping so much light, the company resorted to nanotechnology. Of nanotubes 10,000 times thinner than a hair were thus assembled to form Vantablack. They are too small for the photons can penetrate them and these particles get trapped in the space between the tubes.

This is how over 99.9% of light particles are absorbed. By way of comparison, thefresh asphalt reflects 4% light and the coal peak at 99.5% of light absorbed.

An invisible relief

“You expect to see hills and everything you see is black, like a hole, as if there was nothing at all, Explain to The Independent Ben Jensen, Technical Director of Surrey Nanosystems. It’s so weird. “

Vantablack, for Vertically Aligned carbon NanoTube Array black (“black series of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes”), was presented on an aluminum foil and makes the totally invisible relief. The manufacturing process has the advantage of not requiring a high temperature process, incompatible with electronic products.

For the army and space

Le spatial, l’astronomy, this is indeed where the scope of the blackest black in the world. Used in a telescope or an infrared camera, it would greatly reduce extraneous noise that causes the reflection of light inside the device itself. The light sources studied are indeed so tenuous that the results are easily disturbed. The company is also targeting contracts with the military.

We are trying to adapt production to meet the demands of our first customers in the defense and space sector, and we have already delivered our first orders.. Vantablack, on the other hand, is still far too expensive to be used for clothes or toys. We would lose all the features of a dress anyway, there would only be a black shape, Ben Jensen develops.


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