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Vantablack - world's darkest material

 
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Inseewincesee



Joined: 04 Jun 2014
Posts: 70
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:00 pm    Post subject: Vantablack - world's darkest material Reply with quote

This new material consists of carbon nanotubes – each 10,000 times thinner than a human hair.

The result is a material that absorbs all but 0.035 of visible light.

It is so dark that the human eye cannot understand what it is seeing.

Actual applications are more serious, enabling astronomical cameras, telescopes and infrared scanning systems to function more effectively.
Then there are the military uses that the material's maker, Surrey NanoSystems, is not allowed to discuss.

http://www.surreynanosystems.com/news/
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johan



Joined: 06 Sep 2011
Posts: 992

PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting that there's a building painted in vantablack at the Winter Olympics this year - https://www.inverse.com/article/41104-vantablack-2018-olympics-pavilion
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
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Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably a bit expensinve for a spray-can:
https://www.surreynanosystems.com/vantablack/vantablack-sample-request
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19240
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect that their "spray paint" is actually a two-part process, adhesive plus carbon nanotubes on top.

If it were one-part, with nanotubes embedded in fluid that eventually becomes the adhesive, then the simulator in my head says the surface would end up too smooth.

Of course that simulator is known to make mistakes...

--Rik
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Troels



Joined: 15 Feb 2016
Posts: 366
Location: Denmark, Engesvang

PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read the text as if you just buy a painted sample (material and dimensions given) and not a can. Apparently for only demonstration purpose.

Apart from that:
"1. Vantablack coatings cannot be supplied to private individuals.
Only verified companies, research facilities and educational establishments can order a sample of Vantablack. The coating is not available to private individuals at this time and we can’t accept orders from private email addresses. "
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A recent article that may be of related interest:

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/why-some-birds-paradise-have-ultrablack-feathers

That summary article cites the following detailed study:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-02088-w

The second article has interesting illustrations, and this abstract:
Quote:
Structural absorption by barbule microstructures of super black bird of paradise feathers
Dakota E. McCoy, Teresa Feo, Todd Alan Harvey & Richard O. Prum

Many studies have shown how pigments and internal nanostructures generate color in nature. External surface structures can also influence appearance, such as by causing multiple scattering of light (structural absorption) to produce a velvety, super black appearance. Here we show that feathers from five species of birds of paradise (Aves: Paradisaeidae) structurally absorb incident light to produce extremely low-reflectance, super black plumages. Directional reflectance of these feathers (0.05–0.31%) approaches that of man-made ultra-absorbent materials. SEM, nano-CT, and ray-tracing simulations show that super black feathers have titled arrays of highly modified barbules, which cause more multiple scattering, resulting in more structural absorption, than normal black feathers. Super black feathers have an extreme directional reflectance bias and appear darkest when viewed from the distal direction. We hypothesize that structurally absorbing, super black plumage evolved through sensory bias to enhance the perceived brilliance of adjacent color patches during courtship display.

I suppose we might have expected that the birds would get there first...

--Rik
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Troels



Joined: 15 Feb 2016
Posts: 366
Location: Denmark, Engesvang

PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mentioned contrast between the dead black and some brillian colors is very striking when you experience it. And it also makes it extremely difficult to choose the right exposure for capturing the colors!

I have an example from Costa Rica where I saw some Passerini's Tanager (JPG direct from camera).
The tail and the wings are just ordinary black with some reflections in oblique light. Perhaps feathers used for flying have limited structural freedom. But other parts (head and belly) are very, very black.


As you can see the black wood and the background are deliberately overexposed in an attempt to get some structure in the black. Still the head is without structure and shape, underexposed.

At the same time the red rump is heavily oversaturated, also resulting in lack of structure. High dynamic range in a little bird.
But it was a striking view
(before someone offer help in adjusting the picture, se my better picture in the Flickr link below)
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