Blackest Black? New Disordered Nanostructured Material

There's a new blackest black in town, thanks to work done in Saudi Arabia using (paradoxically) the exceptionally white scales of the Cyphochilus beetle.


(Blackness via the exceptionally white scales of the Cyphochilus beetle)

ndrea Fratalocchi of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and colleagues suggest that their broadband light absorbing material could open up new approaches to energy-harvesting devices and optical interconnects. The novel material is made of a nanorod attached to a nanosphere. This composite nanomaterial can, on average, absorb 26% more incident light than carbon nanotubes...

The researchers were aware of natural materials that are ultra-white, such as the scales on the Cyphochilus beetle, native to south-east Asia. The whiteness is due to the microscopic photonic crystal structure of the scales. With their nanomaterial the team has inverted this ultra-white property using the concept of chaotic energy harvesting to allow them to design a material that would be as black, if not blacker, than those materials are white. Instead of the nanomaterial being ordered as they might be in a photonic crystal, the surface structure is disordered and offers incident light a random network of ‘pores’ made of infinitely long, metallic waveguides....

Old time science fiction fans recall black coating from Doc Smith's 1942 novel Gray Lensman :

“Well, we have a black coating now that’s ninety-nine percent absorptive, and I don’t need ports or windows. At that, though, one percent reflection would be enough to give me away at a critical time. How’d it be to put a couple of the boys on that job? Have them put a decimal point after the ninety nine and see how many nines they can tack on behind it?”

In the modern era, fans of Gene Wolf's Shadow of the Torturer recall fuligin, and the absolute black from Douglas Adams's novel Restaurant at the Edge of the Universe. Both were published in 1980.

I enjoy collecting "blackest black" stories; take a look for yourself:

  - Femtosecond Laser Pulse Turns Metals Pitch Black (2006)
  - Carbon Nanotube Blackness Blacker Than Black (2008)
  - New Black From NASA Uses Nanotubes (2010)
  - Blacker-Than-Black Corrugated Metamaterials (2011)
  - NASA's Super-Black Now Even Blacker (2011)
  - Army Wants Black Blacker Than Black (2012)
  - Vantablack Is Blacker Than Your Black (2014)

Via Chemistry World.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/18/2015)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Material ")

3D Printed Graphene Aerogel - So Light!
'... light as cork and stronger than steel...' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1929.

Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
'a black coating now that’s ninety-nine percent absorptive...' - Doc Smith, 1934.

New Paper - Write With Light Erase With Heat
Writing with light, erasing with heat.

Reconfigured Graphene 10X Strong, 5 Percent Dense, As Steel
'...It was made of Alohydrolium, which is the lightest of all metals.' - Hugo Gernsback, 1911.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'

SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'

Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'

Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.