It is a black that is so dark, some may say, it is blacker than the heart of their ex.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers introduced the "blackest black," which is "ten times blacker than anything reported so far."
"The material consists of vertically oriented carbon nanotubes or CNTs – microscopic carbon filaments, like a Blurred forest of tiny trees that the team grew on a surface of chloro-etched aluminum foil. The film captures at least 99.995% of the incident light, making it the blackest material since records, "the statement said.
A yellow diamond coated with the material seemed to disappear completely, making it look like a dark void. "
However, when engineers created the material, it was completely random.
Brian Wardle, a professor of aerospace at MIT, and MIT postdoc Kehang Cui, now a professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, were "experimenting with ways to grow carbon nanotubes on electrically conductive materials such as aluminum to power their electrical and thermal properties "when confronted with a problem.
An oxide layer covers aluminum when exposed to air and acts as an insulator and blockage of power and heat. This compromised the material's ability to act as a leader.
The team soaked the aluminum in salt water and removed the oxide layer. After undergoing a detailed process of placing aluminum in the furnace to remove the coating, engineers found that the material's ability to conduct heat and electricity was enhanced by its surprising color.
"I remember how black it was before carbon grown nanotubes on it and after growth it looked even darker," Cui said in a statement. "So I thought I should measure the optical reflectivity of the sample."
The material was found to absorb 99.995% of the total light – at any angle and with imperfections such as bumps or ridges – ten times that of all other known material.
The researchers announced the full results in a study published Thursday in the journal ACS-Applied Materials.
The material could be used in cameras or telescopes to eliminate unwanted glare. The astrophysicist and Nobel laureate John Mather was not involved in the experiment, said in a statement.
Mather examines uses for the material.
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