“I’ll stop wearing black when they invent a darker color.” - Wednesday Friday Addams.
Perhaps, there will finally be a change of outfit for Ms. Wednesday, the famous fictitious character from The Addam’s Family. Researchers from Saudia Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology has developed a material which they claim as the blackest ever produced by human hands, which absorbs virtually all of the light that its surface. This material is made from a series of small nanoparticle spheres, each of which has a nano-cylinder resting on top of it. The blackest material is made of carbon nanotubes that absorbs between 98 and 99 percent of the light in the spectrum between 400 and 1400 nm that comes its way. Regardless of the angle and polarization at which the light hits the surface, the material can achieve this.
There are other materials which have shown to absorb more light at specific points in the spectrum, this material absorbs more across wider range-managing to absorb 26 percent more light than any other known material. Apparently it is impossible to create a material that absorbs 100 percent of light and remits it, without losing some energy in the process.
The inspiration behind the blackest material ever created, came from the white cyphochilus beetle. The researchers have tried to emulate these beetles’ scales, which have a complex crystalline structure that reflects light in an incredible way. The team has tried to invert that structure to absorb as much light as possible. The resulting nano-particles surface in the process and create a series of random pits and wave guides that suck the light and stop it from reflecting out.
This black material has other uses then just being potentially the latest fashion statement. Scientists behind this creation says this material can theoretically be put to use in harvesting light for solar energy collectors or be used to create ultra efficient optical connections.
Whilst all options and uses of the blackest material ever created has been addressed by the team of researchers, we are left to wonder if we could possibly use it to make a new “little black dress” for Ms. Wednesday!