Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
Deep in a cave you turn off your light and it is blacker than any night. You turn on your flashlight and the environment seems to suck the light out of it. That is kind of black that scientists have recently created. We sometimes need a surface that doesn't reflect light and other magical materials.

Buildings

Blacker than Black

Deep in a cave you turn off your light and it is blacker than any night. You turn on your flashlight and the environment seems to suck the light out of it. That is kind of black that scientists have recently created. We sometimes need a surface that doesn’t reflect light and other magical materials.

Deep in a cave you turn off your light and it is blacker than any night. You turn on your flashlight and the environment seems to suck the light out of it. That is the kind of black that scientists have recently created: a material that absorbs 99% of the light that strikes it.

Blacker than Black?

We call it this because it is mysterious, it is useful, and it is useful for stealth. Theaters frequently paint the stage area black as this eliminates any distraction from light that remains focused on the action. There is also a class of solar thermal panels that allow the sun to shine on a target area. That target is usually painted black but this only allows absorption of about 85% of the sun’s light. Using these metamaterials that are darker than black, efficiency can be significantly increased. There is also a military term for operations that are “off the books;” where stealth is paramount. Have you noticed what color the military paints stealth planes?

The Science

In a measure of self restraint, the scientific announcements refer to this technology as “darker than black”. Evgenii Narimanov at Purdue University created this hyperbolic metamaterial by growing silver nanowires in a membrane of aluminium oxide. Physorg.com provides us with the scientists explanation:

…the metamaterial’s very low reflectivity results from one of its hyperbolic properties: an infinite density of photonic states. This “super singularity” greatly increases the amount of light scattering from surface defects and corrugations in the metamaterial. The defects and corrugations scatter light primarily inside the material, basically “sucking” photons inside the hyperbolic medium.

Source: ‘Darker Than Black’ Metamaterial Promises Better Solar Cells via PhysOrg.com/Cornell University

Photo Credit via ‘Darker Than Black’ Metamaterial Promises Better Solar Cells’

For additional research: elsevier.com

 

Advertisement
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

We share this World; its past, present resources and our combined future. With every aspiration, the very molecules we use for life are passed to others through time and space so that each of us may be considered a Breath on the Wind. This part of the world's consciousness lives in NYC; has worked in law, research, construction, engineering; has traveled, often drawn to Asia; writes on Energy and Electric Vehicle issues and looks forward to all your comments.   "If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect." -- Benjamin Franklin

Comments

You May Also Like

Cars

Much of the reporting about electric vehicles focuses solely on the vehicles themselves, such as performance metrics: range, battery size, and acceleration. Other aspects...

Cars

A husband and wife team took a unique approach to solving the problem of forgetting the card keys for their Tesla. They started by...

Clean Power

On-the-move power chargers have become even more versatile, thanks to Belgian startup Sunslice Solar, which has expanded its product line to include a backpack...

Clean Transport

Designed and manufactured in the company's facility in Melbourne, Australia, what makes the Stealth P-7 e-bike a particular welcome edition to the bubbling world...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.