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Scientists create world's blackest material

Posted on Friday, 13 September, 2019 | Comment icon 12 comments

A diamond (left) covered in the blackest black (right). Image Credit: MIT
Engineers at MIT have accidentally created a material 10 times blacker than anything that has come before.
The peculiar material, which is comprised of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes grown on chlorine-etched aluminium foil, is capable of absorbing 99.995% of all incoming light.

It was created quite by accident during efforts to increase the electrical and thermal properties of carbon nanotubes by growing them on aluminium and other electrically conductive materials.

The material beats the previous record for 'blackness' held by Surrey NanoSystems for its creation known as 'Vantablack' which is able to absorb 99.96% of all light.

It has since been put on display in the form of a black-coated diamond in an exhibit entitled "The Redemption of Vanity" at the New York Stock Exchange.

There are however practical uses for such a material as well.

"There are optical and space science applications for very black materials, and of course, artists have been interested in black, going back well before the Renaissance," said Prof Brian Wardle.

"Our material is 10 times blacker than anything that's ever been reported, but I think the blackest black is a constantly moving target."

Source: Engadget | Comments (12)

Tags: Black

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Timothy on 13 September, 2019, 22:17
It is ‘material of colour’, it is not black. Don’t want to offend the carbon nanotubes! It is cool that it is 10x blacker than Vantablack! And I liked this bit from the Engadget article: ‘and eventually we'll understand all the underlying mechanisms, and will be able to properly engineer the ultimate black.’ Would that technically be called ‘void of colour’ rather than black? If they do hit 100%?
Comment icon #4 Posted by It's Just An Opinion on 13 September, 2019, 22:30
If they do reach 100% black they should try and bounce light around it. Since that's how you make something invisible, so having the surface you're trying to make invisible not be bouncing light back out, would surely help.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Desertrat56 on 13 September, 2019, 22:53
Once in the 80's a newspaper in Iowa had a headline "The City is in the African-American" because the editor did not read the story just change the word black to african-american.  It was about the city finally paying off it's debts. 
Comment icon #6 Posted by Seti42 on 14 September, 2019, 1:38
Hopefully, they'll let ANY artist use it, unlike the makers of Vantablack, who signed an exclusive deal with ONE artist...
Comment icon #7 Posted by Impedancer on 14 September, 2019, 7:42
Problems only goths have finding the right black tee among all the other black tees. 
Comment icon #8 Posted by Golden Duck on 16 September, 2019, 4:03
Comment icon #9 Posted by acute on 16 September, 2019, 10:46
Eee by gum..... It's grim up North!
Comment icon #10 Posted by Piney on 16 September, 2019, 17:13
Ooos grim????? 
Comment icon #11 Posted by toast on 16 September, 2019, 21:12
BTW, black isnt a color. What we call black is the effect of a surface that absorbs the complete visible spectrum of the electromagnetic spectrum (all of the colors to be exact).
Comment icon #12 Posted by Aye_Yer_Ma on 17 September, 2019, 5:05
It's pretty cool, the name sucks and it ain't as new as people think. They went commercial in 2014 and before that NASA had created something similar but more heat resistant.

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