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A New Version of Vantablack Is the World’s New Darkest Black

Vantablack, short for Vertically Aligned NanoTube Arrays, is a black artificial material, initially developed by the UK’s National Physical Laboratory in 2014. It has been holding the world’s record as the darkest man-made substance, capable of absorbing 99.96% of visible light, that it makes a 3D object seems to be flat. Now, Surrey NanoSystems has beaten that record with a newer version of the Vantablack, known as Vantablack 2.0.

Image courtesy Surrey NanoSystems

Vantablack 2.0 is too dark that it could not be detected by the spectrometers of Surrey Nanosystems. It absorbs 99.8% of the visible light, it is exposed to. Moreover, unlike the older Vantablack, the new material comes in the form of a more tolerant coating, and so it would be easier to apply on objects. While the Vantablack’s earlier version was deemed useful for telescopes, preventing stray light, as well as Infrared cameras, the Vantablack 2.0’s potential is yet to be discovered.

Image courtesy Surrey NanoSystems

As for the artistic applications of the artificial color, they can be seen in the works of British artist Anish Kapoor who gained exclusive rights to the use Vantablack. Kapoor described the Vantablack, saying “Imagine a space that’s so dark that as you walk in you lose all sense of where you are, what you are, and especially all sense of time.”

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