Vantablack® is a super-black coating that holds the world record as the darkest man-made substance.
Developed in 2014 by researchers Vantablack is capable of absorbing 99.96 percent of ultraviolet, visible and infrared light. The material contrary to what you might think is not a paint, pigment or fabric, it is a special coating which has almost zero reflectance.
The material was developed by Surrey Nanosystems, and since its conception researchers have only been finding more ways to increase the materials blackness. The team of researchers announced back in 2016 that a new version of the material was so black that no spectrometer could measure the amount of light that could be absorbed by it. Effectively making it so ‘black’ that nothing can measure it.
A variation of the material known as Vantablack S-VIS is now available for sale, Vantablack S-VIS can absorb 99.8 percent of ultraviolet, visible and infrared light. This result in the material being able to make 3-D objects appear as flat black voids. “If you see [Vantablack S-VIS] on a flat surface on its own, with no other black material to reference it against, it just looks like a black velvet surface,” Ben Jensen, chief technical officer for Surrey NanoSystems, recently told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC).
Multiple uses have already been found for Vantablack. For example, it has already found use in space, it is being used on a European satellite as the coating for the satellite’s star tracker, this is a device that is used by the satellite to track stars. Also the Surrey Nano-systems have licensed Vantablack S-VIS exclusively to Kapoor Studios UK to see its application in the field of art.
Although the material is yet available for commercial sale, Surrey NanoSystems is pursuing a wide range of application for this interesting material. However, if you are interested in getting you hands on some of the material, you can get samples here.