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MIT Scientists Accidentally Create Blackest Material Ever That Absorbs 99.9 Percent Light

Blackest material Ever by MIT Scientists Absorbs 99.9 Percent of light

Blackest material Ever by MIT Scientists Absorbs 99.9 Percent of light

Good news for goths! Black somehow just got even Blacker!!! MIT engineers have now cooked up a material that is ten times blacker than any other material previously reported. By capturing more than 99.995 percent of any incoming light, this material is made of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes or CNTs grown on chlorine etched aluminum foil. It was discovered accidentally.

The Scientists had actually been experimenting with ways to grow carbon nanotubes on electrically conductive materials — such as aluminum — in order to boost their electrical as well as thermal properties. The color of the resulting material actually surprised the research team, and they only realized what they had invented after they measured the optical reflectance of the material.

This discovery is currently being showcased at an art exhibit titled “The Redemption of Vanity” at the New York Stock Exchange, where a 16.78-carat natural yellow diamond has been coated in this material. But instead of a brilliant, sparkling gem, the stone — which is worth an eye-watering $2 million appears as a flat, and black void!

Blackest material Ever by MIT Scientists Absorbs 99.9 Percent of light
16.78-carat natural yellow diamond has been coated in the blackest material ever

The team said this, Blackest material ever has some practical applications too. According to Brian Wardle who is a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, this material could be used in optical blinders that reduced unwanted glare, to help space telescopes spot orbiting exoplanets. And, he said, the material could get even blacker still.

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Before MIT developed what it called the “blackest- black” material to date, Surrey NanoSystems claimed that title with its original Vantablack low-temperature carbon nanotube discovery. Surrey Nanosystem’s black material was capable of absorbing 99.96 percent of light, although its researchers claim the company’s second-generation concepts could be even darker than their previous discovery. That has not stopped BMW coating one of its cars in it, though.

Wardle said that there are optical and space science applications for very black materials, and of course, the artists have been interested in black, going back well before the Renaissance. he added that the material is 10 times blacker than anything that has ever been reported, but he thinks the blackest black is a constantly moving target. Someone will find a blacker material and eventually we will understand all the underlying mechanisms of it and will be able to properly engineer the ultimate black, he added.

Author: Ria Roy


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