MIT engineers have developed a material they claim is 10 times blacker than any other to date.
In a blog post, MIT describes the material as being made from vertically aligned carbon nanotubes, which are microscopic carbon filaments. The engineers grew the carbon nanotubes on chlorine-etched aluminum foil, which then captured more than 99.995 percent of incoming light in lab testing. For reference, Vantablack, the previous holder of the “blackest black” title, captures 99.965 percent of light.
If you’re in New York, you can actually peep the new material as part of an art exhibit at the New York Stock Exchange. The exhibit, titled The Redemption of Vanity, is a collaboration between MIT artist-in-residence Diemut Strebe and Brian Wardle, MIT’s professor of aeronautics and astronautics. It features a $2 million, 16.78-carat yellow diamond coated in the new ultrablack material. So instead of a sparkly rare diamond, you see a black, diamond-shaped void.