A spray paint with incredibly low reflectance
To enhance the flexibility of applying super-black coatings, Surrey NanoSystems has developed a spray-on version called Vantablack S-VIS with a reflectance of typically 0.2% in the visible spectrum (@700nm). This allows super-black coatings to be applied to almost any stable material surface - such as polymers - as well as to large and complex shapes (objects just need to be able to fit into a spray painting booth). The application process is much more flexible than original Vantablack, which is applied in a vacuum chamber using low temperature chemical vapour deposition (CVD).
Vantablack S-VIS spray paint is manufactured from CNTs and other organic materials dispersed in carrier solution. As the solution evaporates, it leaves behind a structured coating that is then subjected to further processing steps. This process functionalises and binds the coating structure together whilst forming optical cavities which trap light in a similar way to Vantablack. Vantablack S-VIS is so effective that its reflectance performance far outstrips any other known paint or super-black coating - and it offers the second-lowest level of reflectance available today, bettered only by Vantablack.
Vantablack S-VIS technical specifications:
- THR (total hemispherical reflectance) 0.2% at 700 nm
- 0.17% at 1064nm (near-infrared spectrum)
- Performs across a wide spectrum from ultraviolet (UV) to near infrared (NIR)
- Shock and vibration resistance to MIL-810G
- Thermal shock and cycling from -196 to +300°C
- High performance at extreme viewing angles >70° (TIS - 0.6% at 70° VIS)
Applying Vantablack S-VIS
Vantablack S-VIS is applied using a spray painting process. If required, objects up to a metre or more in length can be sprayed, providing very great flexibility of application.
Vantablack S-VIS can be applied to a wide range of material types. The only major requirement is that the surface or substrate material must be able to withstand temperatures up to 100°C.
The fine nanometre-sized optical cavities that make Vantablack S-VIS so dark mean it cannot be used in environments open to direct contact and mechanical abrasion. It needs to be protected from accidental touching, for example behind or inside a component, or situated where contact is avoided.
Initially, Vantablack S-VIS is offered as a service from Surrey NanoSystems' processing centre located near Brighton in the UK. However, the process is amenable to integration within volume manufacturing lines, and can be licensed subject to relevant approvals.
What can Vantablack S-VIS be used for?
The spray-on application method required for Vantablack S-VIS means that it is highly flexible, allowing it to be used to coat complex shapes and surfaces. This significantly extends the application-space for super-black coatings. Typical examples include cold shields, and optical baffels with improved efficiency imaging technology, and luxury goods with enhanced aesthetic appeal.
To download S-VIS technical performance data in PDF format, please go to our resources page.
Samples and development
Samples of Vantablack S-VIS are readily available for user-evaluation. Depending on the end application, a UK Government export license may be required. As Vantablack finds application in defence and other sectors, it has been classified by the UK Government as 'dual use'. So, some clients may require an export licence. Generic samples for customers outside of the UK require an export licence - this process normally takes around two weeks. A nominal charge for samples is made to cover the cost of export compliance.