Vantablack-The world’s darkest material

  • The world’s darkest material – capable of absorbing 99.96 per cent of ultraviolet, visible and infrared light – is now available in a spray-on form, which can make any 3D object look like a flat black void.The material, called Vantablack, was first created by researchers in 2014.
  • Since its initial development, researchers have increased the material’s blackness.
  • The material was so black no spectrometer was able to measure how much light Vantablack absorbs, according to the researchers.
  • The new variation, known as Vantablack S-VIS, is available in a spray-on form that blocks 99.8 per cent of ultraviolet, visible and infrared light – enough to make an otherwise detailed 3D object appear as a flat black void.
  • It is not a paint, pigment or fabric, but a special coating designed to achieve a near total lack of reflectance, according to Surrey NanoSystems, the UK-based company that produces Vantablack.
  • Vantablack achieves its supreme blackness through millions of carbon nanotubes.
  • Each nanotube of the coating is around 20 nanometres in diameter – about 3,500 times smaller than the width of a human hair – and around 14 microns to 50 microns long. This amounts to about one billion nanotubes on a surface area of one centimetre square. When light hits this nanotube “forest,” it enters the microscopic spaces amid the tubes and is rapidly absorbed as it bounces between them. The almost perfectly black, light-void surface is created because of the material’s near-total lack of reflectance.
  • Vantablack may have a diverse range of applications including high-performance infrared cameras, sensors, scientific instruments, satellite-borne calibration sources, and even to provide a unique aesthetic effect in certain high-end luxury products.
  • Its ability to absorb light energy and convert it to heat is also of relevance in solar power development.

Source: Indian Express

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