Home Technology The ‘World’s Darkest Material’ That Absorbs Up To 99.965% Of Visible Light

The ‘World’s Darkest Material’ That Absorbs Up To 99.965% Of Visible Light

Do you have any love for black? A genuine one? Without a doubt, you should look into the Vantablack. The British technology company Surrey NanoSystems claims that the super-black coating it has developed is the world’s darkest material ever created by humans.

Vantablack was the name given to the specialized pigment coating that was created by the company in 2014. It stands for Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Array Black. According to some studies, it is capable of soaking up 99.965 percent of the light that falls on it, making it the darkest black possible.

These are two identical bronze castings. One of them is coated with Vantablack.

These are two identical bronze castings. One of them is coated with Vantablack.
Image credit: Surrey NanoSystems

Vantablack was first developed for use in optical and aeronautical applications. However, if it is used on delicate materials, it may improve the visibility of faraway objects for scientific observation. For instance, covering a telescope with Vantablack will reduce glare, making it simpler to see planets and stars in the far distance.

This is a basketball that has been painted with Vantablack. So now you know just how dark Vantablack is.

This is a basketball that has been painted with Vantablack.
Image credit: Surrey NanoSystems

The Vantablack process developed by Surrey NanoSystems involves the use of chemical processes to “grow” millions of tiny filaments of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) onto the surface of the item that is being coated. These CNTs are packed firmly against one other.

As a result, the light that reaches the item is almost completely absorbed by the newly formed carbon nanotubes. Because of it, it looks like a pitch-black hole. or, more specifically, a black hole.

Common black items or colors are excellent at soaking up light. That’s why on a bright day the inside of a black automobile will become hotter than a white one. However, they continue to remain visible due to the light they reflect.

In contrast, the material  Vantablack has the capacity to take in an incredible quantity of light. Therefore, the object’s apparent three-dimensionality and texture are reduced to a more simple shape as a result.

Vantablack VBX2 paint gives this BMW X6 a flat, two-dimensional appearance.

Vantablack VBX2 paint gives this BMW X6 a flat, two-dimensional appearance.
Image credit: Surrey NanoSystems

Vantablack is currently difficult to produce and is also rather pricey. Therefore, it is not yet on the market for widespread purchase. However, Surrey NanoSystems does provide display samples to academic institutions such as museums and libraries. Therefore, there is hope that manufacturing costs will decrease, making even the blackest of blacks affordable.

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