It has been announced that researchers have succeeded in making a material that is so black that it absorbs all but 0.035 percent of visible light. That sets a brand new world record and has allowed the creators to take nano materials to a whole new level. The material is made up of carbon nanotubes. Each one is around 10,000 times thinner than one human hair and has been named Vantablack. It was shown to the general public for the first time this past weekend.
Vantablack is developed on aluminum foil sheets but even after the foil has been crumpled into small pieces, the new contours are unable to be seen even in the best lit of rooms due to the fact that human eyes do not receive any new information from the material.
Ben Jensen, who is the main technical officer behind Vantablack, told the media that when viewing the crumpled foil, one expects to see crinkly aluminum and instead all that is seen is black like a hole, like there is nothing there. It looks very strange. Jensen, who is employed at Surrey NanoSystems, also explained that if a female were to put on a black dress produced from the Vantablack, her features would completely disappear, and it would seem as if she was being blacked out by some sort of two-dimensional dress shape from any angle she would be viewed at.
Vantablack basically reduces stray light, improving the ability of delicate telescopes to see the dimmest stars and also allows the use of smaller, light sources in space borne black body adjustment systems. It’s extremely low reflectance increases the sensitivity of terrestrial, space and also air borne instrumentation.
Surrey NanoSystems has stated that there is already a request for the strange void like material, with the very first customers being space and defense sectors. The British engineering firm has started showing off Vantablack. Besides visible light, the material also absorbs any incoming radiation and other common frequencies such as radio waves and microwaves. The company compares the black to a bottomless pit from which no light is able to escape.
This is able to work because of the radiation absorbing qualities of the carbon nanotubes into which light and various other types of radiation infiltrates easily but cannot leave from. This is also excellent for keeping stray light away from sensitive instruments or for allowing an aircraft to become invisible on radar.
Vanta stands for “vertically aligned nanotube arrays” and have existed since 2007 but Surrey NanoSystems states they have improved on the creation technique by making various side effects such as high temperatures a thing of the past. The material will not be seen in the making of any clothing items any time soon, but it may show up in various military deployments before long.
Repeating: it has been announced that researchers have succeeded in making a material that is so black that it absorbs all but 0.035 percent of visible light. That sets a brand new world record and has allowed the creators to take nano materials to a whole new level.
By Kimberly Ruble