NanoTube Black - The Blackest Black

ABSL, NPL and Surrey NanoSystems have combined capabilities to produce Nanotube black, a nanostructured black coating exhibiting the lowest measured reflectance across the IR spectrum. The process, based on SNS’ proprietary low-temperature synthesis technology, for the first time deposits vertically-aligned carbon nanotube (VANTA) arrays on a range of temperature sensitive materials that are critical to terrestrial, airborne and space flight applications. The low-temperature coating capability uniquely enables total hemispherical reflectance < 0.15% on aluminium substrates. Previously, VANTA coatings could only be deposited on costly, high-mass super alloys and thermally stable materials such as silicon. The nanostructured black coating is chemically inert, resists shock and vibration, and exhibits excellent environmental, thermal and outgassing stability.

The deposition technique scales from the submicron to wide area, is suited to a range of materials and is easily combined with standard lithographic techniques to define complex patterns, where required. Applications include space and terrestrial calibration sources, IR detectors and stray-light suppression in optical instruments.

Surrey NanoSystems along with NPL and ABSL will be exhibiting the Nanotube Black coatings at the 2013 UK Space Conference in Glasgow from the 15th to the 17th of July