Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a material that claims to be 10 times blacker than anything previously reported.
The material is made from vertically aligned carbon nanotubes, or CNTs – micro-fibers of carbon that the team grew on the surface of chlorine-etched aluminum foil.
According to a study published in the journal ACS-Applied Materials and Interfaces, the foil captures more than 99.96 percent of any incoming light, making it the darkest material on record.
Materials may be useful, for example, in optical glare that reduces unwanted glare, helping to orbit exoplanets in place of space telescopes, said Brian Wardley, professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT.
“There are optical and space science applications for very dark matter, and of course, artists are interested in black, going back well before the Renaissance.
“Our material is 10 times more black than anything reported, but I think the blackest is a continuously moving target. Somebody will find a black substance, and eventually we will understand all the underlying mechanisms, and He will be able to properly engineer the last block.