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Carbon Nanotubes Used to Make World’s Darkest Material: Vantablack Is the New Black

by Lambert Varias

British nanoelectronics company Surrey NanoSystems claims it has invented the world’s darkest material. Made of tightly packed carbon nanotubes, the company’s Vantablack reportedly absorbs 99.96% of the radiation that hits its surface. The result is a material so dark it looks like, well, like nothing.

vantablack-by-surrey-nanosystemszoom in

The image above, which was posted by the Daily Mail courtesy of Surrey NanoSystems, shows how strange Vantablack can get. The aluminum foil is crumpled and bumpy, but you won’t be able to tell that by looking at the area that’s coated with the wonder material. Speaking with The Independent, Surrey NanoSystems Chief Technical Officer Ben Jensen said that if you made a dress out of Vantablack, “You would lose all features of the dress. It would just be something black passing through.”

Vantablack is also a breakthrough in that other carbon nanotube-based “super black” materials can only be applied to objects using high temperatures. Surrey NanoSystem’s relatively low temperature process makes its material applicable to a wider range of items. The company says it has already delivered Vantablack to the space sector, who can use the material to calibrate telescopes and make them detect even more light sources, and to the defense sector, because of reasons.

[via Surrey NanoSystems, Daily Mail & The Independent]

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