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The New Black is Vantablack, Darkest Material Ever Built
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The New Black is Vantablack, Darkest Material Ever Built

The little black dress has had that something special throughout the decades– it exudes elegance and simplici...

The New Black is Vantablack, Darkest Material Ever Built

The little black dress has had that something special throughout the decades– it exudes elegance and simplicity. Why? Because it is black. And if you thought that black couldn't get blacker, take a second guess. British Surrey NanoSystems has created the world's darkest material.

 

Vantablack was created through a low-temperature growth process of a nanotube material on aluminium foil. It is hypnotically black. Imagine staring down a deep abyss-- soon you'll discover it stares back at you. Ben Jensen, Surrey Nanosystems' chief technology officer, describes the experience: “You expect to see the hills and all you can see … it's like black, like a hole, like there's nothing there. It just looks so strange.”
 

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Vantablack absorbs 99.96% of light, and can be applied to materials such as aluminium, which is light in weight and sensitive in structure. Vantablack was in development and testing for two years before it was ready to be applied to aluminium structures.

 

Maybe fashion designers can't make a little nano-dress out of the Vantablack, but the material can be put to many uses. The vertically aligned carbon nanotubes will find their way into the space and military sector in the manufacturing of stealth aircrafts, weapons, astronomical cameras, and telescopes.

 

Vantablack will debut at the Farnborough International Air Show, taking place 14-20 July. Jensen says the company is setting up for sales. “We are now scaling up production to meet the requirements of our first customers in the defense and space sectors, and have already delivered our first orders.”

 

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