The darkest material ever made: Vantablack

Just think of any darkest things, place or color you could ever imagine or have ever come across. Now imagine it to be even darker “blacker than the black” and that ladies and gentlemen is our Vantablack.

What is vantablack?

It’s a man-made material that absorbs 99.965 percent of the visible light.
This stuff is darkest substance ever known.
It has also been described as the closest thing to a black hole we’ll ever see or have seen.

How is vantablack created?

Vantablack was developed by Surrey NanoSystems a British company. They developed the material back in 2004 and naming it Vantablack were  VANTA stands for vertically aligned carbon nano-tube arrays.

It renders objects virtually invisible. It’s so dark that the human eye can’t distinguish between its shape and dimension.

What are its properties?

Vantablack is constructed from a forest of equally placed nano tubes “grown” on a substrate using a modified chemical vapor deposition process (CVD). When light strikes the tubes, it becomes trapped and is continually deflected among the tubes , instead of bouncing off from it, eventually becoming absorbed and dissipating into heat. Vantablack absorbs up to 99.96% of visible light and can be created at 400 °C (752 °F).

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While Vantablack is sensitive to touch, it’s super rugged against other forces, like shock and vibration. This is due to the fact that each carbon nanotube is individual, and has almost no mass at all. Plus, most of the material is air. 

What are it’s application?

As being the blackest material, Vantablack has many uses:

  • Preventing unwanted light from entering telescopes .
  • Making the performance of infrared cameras both on Earth and in space even better.
  • Its ultra-low reflective property makes the the sensitivity of terrestrial, space and air-borne instrumentation better.
  • It also increase the absorption of heat in materials used in concentrated solar power technology .

It could be applied in more everyday objects if the conditions are right. Northam says Surrey NanoSystems has already been approached by a many of luxury watchmakers interested in using Vantablack into their wrist watches, and high-end car manufacturers want to use it in for stunning visual appearance. Northam it may also be used in smartphone.

Artists are also intrested in using Vantablack . But for now, much to the only one artist is allowed to work with the material, and that’s sculptor Anish Kapoor. Surrey NanoSystems gave Kapoor the exclusive rights to using Vantablack in “creative arts.

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