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Scientists Create A “New Black,” The Darkest Material Ever Made

Vantablack is the new black.

1. British scientists have created a “new black” so dark it absorbs all but 0.035% of visual light.

Surrey NanoSystems

According to experts, Vantablack is as close to a black hole imaginable, as it is so dark that the human eye struggles to discern its shape and dimension.

Created by Surrey NanoSystems, the material is ten times stronger than steel.

2. Scientists have grown Vantablack on sheets of aluminum foil.

Surrey NanoSystems

Surrey NanoSystems’ chief technical officer, Ben Jensen, pointed out how you would expect to see the foil’s crumpling underneath, but instead the human eye sees nothing.

“All you can see … it’s like black, like a hole, like there’s nothing there. It just looks so strange,” The Independent quotes him as saying.

3. Vantablack is created using carbon nanotubes which are arranged so light can’t escape.


Arranging the carbon nanotubes vertically makes sure the light cannot escape the layer and is almost completely absorbed.

The material will be launched at the Farnborough International Air Show this week.

Jensen said the company was scaling up production to meet the requirements of its first customers in the defence and space sectors.

Vantablack is expected to be used in telescopes and apparatus used to capture images of space.

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