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Thread: New deepest black

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2006

    New deepest black

    Wouldn't you love to have bellows coated with this stuff?

    Also, deep in the article it says:

    ""The more black the material the better," said Gerald Fraser, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the federal agency that specializes in fine measurements and industrial standards.

    That agency offers scientists a chemical mix it calls "standard black," which for years has been the defining measure of blackness. Photographers and printers use it to calibrate their gray scales. Industrial radiologists use it to calibrate X-ray imaging systems that detect radiation or hidden defects in building materials."

    Has anyone heard of or used this "chemical mix?"

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Valley of the Sun, AZ

    Re: New deepest black

    It's an array of vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes, with a nanoscale roughness overlaid on the arrays. If the roughness is anything close to a fractal roughness, then yes it should be extremely black.

    For those who are interested, here's the article info:
    Experimental Observation of an Extremely Dark Material Made By a Low-Density Nanotube Array
    Yang, Z.-P.; Ci, L.; Bur, J. A.; Lin, S.-Y.; Ajayan, P. M.
    Nano Lett.; (Letter); 2008; 8(2); 446-451. DOI: 10.1021/nl072369t

    An ideal black material absorbs light perfectly at all angles and over all wavelengths. Here, we show that low-density vertically aligned carbon nanotube arrays can be engineered to have an extremely low index of refraction, as predicted recently by theory [Garcia-Vidal, F. J.; Pitarke, J. M.; Pendry, J. B. Phys. Rev. Lett. 1997, 78, 4289-4292] and, combined with the nanoscale surface roughness of the arrays, can produce a near-perfect optical absorption material. An ultralow diffused reflectance of 1 10-7 measured from such arrays is an order-of-magnitude lower compared to commercial low-reflectance standard carbon. The corresponding integrated total reflectance of 0.045% from the nanotube arrays is three times lower than the lowest-ever reported values of optical reflectance from any material, making it the darkest man-made material ever.

    If you had the time you could browse the ANSI standards for the black to which they refer; "standard black" doesn't bring up any search hits.
    They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.
    -Francis Bacon

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Re: New deepest black

    When I was about 10 I had thought about how you could have a cloak with mirrors and sensors to project the image from one side of an object to the other. I guess this is the real life version of what I imagined when I was sat in front of the tv...

    Canon Head Office in the UK use huge 'light towers'. They are tubes placed outside that concentrate light through a channel and it reflects into other tubes lining the ceiling in the canteen, giving indoor sunlight. Anything is possible huh?

  4. #4
    Michael E. Gordon
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Southern California

    Re: New deepest black

    "There is something about this, that’s that’s so black, it’s like; “How much more black could this be?” and the answer is: “None, none... more black.”

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2002

    Re: New deepest black

    Reminds me of the Jack London short story,The Shadow and the Flash.

    "Colour is a sensation," he was saying. "It has no objective reality. Without light, we can see neither colours nor objects themselves. All objects are black in the dark, and in the dark it is impossible to see them. If no light strikes upon them, then no light is flung back from them to the eye, and so we have no vision-evidence of their being."

    "But we see black objects in daylight," I objected.

    "Very true," he went on warmly. "And that is because they are not perfectly black. Were they perfectly black, absolutely black, as it were, we could not see them - ay, not in the blaze of a thousand suns could we see them! And so I say, with the right pigments, properly compounded, an absolutely black paint could be produced which would render invisible whatever it was applied to."

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Re: New deepest black

    and if it was that black that it couldn't be seen, you could avoid it by default by walking round the thing you can't see as you can see everything else around it so you know where not to go...

  7. #7
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Rio Rancho, NM

    Re: New deepest black

    I was working on an even blacker material in my lab. I had found a wayto embed bazillions of nano-sized black holes in the woven carbon fiber cloth.

    Unfortunately, my lab has disappeared.

  8. #8
    Ted Harris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    New Hampshire

    Re: New deepest black


    I think your lab has been eaten by tribbles.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Re: New deepest black

    This is a lovely conversation! Very entertaining. Never thought much about various levels of black before. Cheers! More please!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Harbor City, California

    Re: New deepest black

    I don't suppose it competes with nanotubes, but the ash from burning acetylene with no added oxygen sure is black.

    The comment about roughness reminds me of the first time I ever thought of a rough surface being essential to fullest color (or lack thereof). In Sicily there is a common roadside weed which produces flowers of an amazing redness.

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