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 ")

How To Encode The 'Memory' Of Materials
'Just jar it, and it falls into that structure like a rubber figure returning to shape.' - Samuel R. Delany, 1966.

Surface Film Repels All Bacteria
'Most gentlemen's and ladies' gloves nowadays were constructed of infinitesimal fabricules that knew how to eject dirt...'- Neal Stephenson, 1995

Frictionless Toilet Could Save 140 Billion Liters Of Water
'The bowl was a frictionless surface...' Niven and Pournelle, 1974.

Osmiridium Sounds Like Science Fiction (But It's Not!)
I can't resist science-fictional elements. Especially when they're real.

 

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

Cruise Autonomous Car Drives Aimlessly For An Hour
Convincing video shows progress (and limitations).

Fast Charging A Bus In 20 Seconds
'... in almost every town and village.'

Realistic Translation With The Waverly Labs Ambassador
'The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.'

Biotech Firms Raised $Millions For Anti-Agathics (Longevity Drugs)
'Against Death doth no simple grow.'

Out-Of-Work Blue Collar Robots Need Your Help
'His legs relaxed with a rattle as he cut off all power below his waist... and ran his eye down the Help Wanted - Robot column...'

The Dawn Of Orbiting Manufacturing In 2020?
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories.'

Smart Contact Lenses Charges With 3D Printed Antenna
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens.'

Segway S-Pod Fulfills Dire 1928 SciFi Prophecy
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'

Physicist Inspired By SciFi And Seeing Back In Time
'Here is the chronoscope... Scansion depends upon a special curved field...'

Airbnb Has AI Psychiatrist Looking At Your Facebook
'It's illegal to hold back information during a psyche test.'

NASA's Electric Motor Scooter
'...all the [lunar] prospectors took bicycles along as a matter of course'

Moving Suns To Different Galactic Neighborhoods
'...to swerve their star from its course, the globemen made use of a simple physical principle.'

Students Surveilled By School Phone Apps
Cheer up, students. '...cracking my SchoolBook had been easy.'

Massage Robot Has Soft Hands, Er, Pads
'The automatic massager began to fumble gently over my naked form.'

Medical Tattoos Are STILL Being Researched
'Following the current craze, she has had a subdermal pattern of micro-channels implanted.'

Elon Musk's Traffic Tunnel Challenge Is Boring
'The car vibrated... threading the maze of local tubes.'

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.