[1109.5469] Darker than black: radiation-absorbing metamaterial

blackback

Yah, basically, it’s blacker than black. So black you can’t even see it to know it’s black. Or, as the researchers explain,

“We show that corrugated surfaces of hyperbolic metamaterials scatter light preferentially inside the media, resulting in a very low reflectance and ultimate dark appearance in the spectral range of hyperbolic dispersion.”

Got that?

Expansion on this work led to the creation of Vantablack, which is being called the darkest material ever created. But how is it made?

“Vantablack, for Vertically Aligned NanoTube Array, is made by ‘growing’ carbon nanotubes on a metal surface. (A nanotube is a billionth of a meter thick, or about the width of three gold atoms.) Light is trapped between the tubes and bounces around until it’s absorbed, so almost no light gets out.”

Also, here’s an interview with the founder of the company that invented it.

Original study via Cornell.