There is talk of blacker material than ever in the press release accompanying a new study published in Applied Materials & Interfaces. The MIT researchers report that they have developed a material that is “10 times blacker than previously reported.”
It is a material made of carbon nanotubes placed vertically. These nanotubes were attached to an aluminum foil etched with chlorine. The result is a film that can reflect 99.96% of incoming light at any wavelength, making this film, in turn, a material that, in our view, looks darker than the darkest black we can imagine.
Currently, the film has been used in a work of art produced by Brian Wardle, an aviation and astronautics expert at MIT, and by the artist Diemut Strebe. It is a yellow diamond covered with this ultra-black film.
Practical applications? According to the researchers, the uses for this material could be many. For example, it can be used in optical indicators to reduce glare or in space telescopes to locate exoplanets that more efficiently hide the light from the stars around which they rotate.