Vantablack stray light suppression

Vantablack Stray Light Suppression

Optical sensing instrumentation

Stray light in optical sensing instrumentation can greatly reduce signal-to-noise ratio, reducing the performance of the instrument. A variety of techniques are commonly used to reduce stray light, such as baffles and paint coatings. This problem is particularly pronounced in space applications, such as Earth or star observation systems. Earth observation systems must separate the target field-of-view from bright adjacent lights; star observation systems have to deal with the contaminating brightness of the Sun and other bright light sources.

The 'forest' like structure of the carbon nanotube based Vantablack coating provides a level of stray light absorption that significantly exceeds the performance of the super-black coatings that have been used to-date. In addition to Vantablack, the blackest known material, Surrey NanoSystems also offers its spray-applied Vantablack S-VIS, the second blackest coating currently available.  Unlike other black absorbers, S-VIS offers this exceptional performance across a wide-range of viewing angles and wavelengths, which is critical for optical instruments. It is, for example, some 17 times less reflective than the super-black paint used for minimizing stray light in the Hubble space telescope.

Surrey NanoSystems' black coatings have been tested and qualified for space application, exhibiting excellent resistance to shock, vibration, extremes of temperature and intrinsic vacuum stability.  It made its space debut in a stray-light reduction application in December 2015.


The stray light suppression qualities of the super-black coating can equally be applied to everyday optical systems such as telescopes and cameras - improving signal to noise ratio an ensuring better performance. Vantablack S-VIS finds major applications in this area, improving the ability of sensitive telescopes to see the faintest stars.

Vantablack and Vantablack S-VIS provide the user with the flexibility to achieve exceptional levels of absorbance and emissivity in a huge range of applications.