“How do you see accurately across a galaxy and image the Earth's climate with sufficient precision to understand climate change?" Read on to see how Vantablack helps improve technology in the harshest of environments...
What is Vantablack?
Vantablack Technical Data Sheet
Downloadable PDF providing reflectance, thermal and mechanical data for Vantablack
Vantablack® is a super-black coating that holds the world record as the darkest man-made substance. It was originally developed for satellite-borne blackbody calibration systems, but its unique physical and optical properties have resulted in it finding widespread application. Vantablack is available in two versions, either directly applied to surfaces using vacuum-deposition technology or, in the case of Vantablack S-VIS, by spraying and then post-processing.
Vantablack absorbs virtually all incident light, making it ideally suited to addressing a host of light-suppression and light-management problems. It reflects so little light that it is often described as the closest thing to a black hole we'll ever see. With such exceptionally low levels of reflectance, Vantablack produces some startling optical effects; when it's applied to a three-dimensional object, Vantablack is so black that it becomes extremely difficult to discern any surface features, and three-dimensional objects appear to become two-dimensional.
In fact, Vantablack absorbs more than just visible light, and is equally-effective across a whole range of the spectrum that is invisible to the human eye. It is used in applications ranging from space-borne scientific instrumentation to luxury goods, and its ability to deceive the eye opens-up a whole range of possibilities in design.
In addition to the blackest black in the world, we now have the second blackest coating - Vantablack S-VIS - a carbon nanotube paint that can be sprayed onto surfaces, opening up many new applications.