Vantablack – The New Blackest Material Ever!

A few years ago, Surrey NanoSystems revealed they had created a carbon nanotube-based material capable of reflecting only 0.035% of light, making it the blackest material ever made. Now, Vantablack is back and darker than ever, this new version of Vantablack is so absorbent that no-one knows how much light gets absorbed because Surrey’s spectrometer’s can’t measure it!

While it may be called Vantablack, it is not really black, or even any colour at all, instead it is a complete absence of colour due to the material absorbing all light that hits it. Created using a ‘forest’ of carbon nanotubes, the light, is reflected into the cavities in the tubes and converted into heat, instead of being reflected back. The result is stunning, especially when shown side-by-side with other materials.

In a demonstration video released by Surrey NanoSystems, they demonstrate the new Vantablack’s light absorbing properties using a laser pointer shone at it. As the pointer passes from the surrounding material onto the sample, the light completely disappears. Another video from Surrey shows Vantablack facing off against other dark materials, black paint and the best black available for space applications, with the winner being clear.

The real-world uses for such a material are countless, especially for military and space applications where it could coat stealth craft, especially if it also contains radar-absorbant properties too. Unfortunately, if you want to use it for art, you’re out of luck, with Anish Kapoor currently holding exclusive rights from Surrey Nanosystems for usage of the material in art.