technician holding a disc of vanta black

Vantablack – The Blackest Substance on Earth

They say that it is blacker than black and in all reality, it is one hundred percent true. Vantablack made its way to the market and all of a sudden both artists and the scientific community are obsessed with it.

Vantablack is a material that is constructed out of singular carbon nanotubes. These nanotubes a brown to a structure that can be compared to a forest made of grass. This structure is what contributes to its most notable feature.

Vantablack is a patented by the Surrey NanoSystems Limited. The Vanta in the name Vantablack stands for Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Arrays. It is so dark it can be compared to peering down a small blackhole.

Its vanta-stique features

Dubbed the darkest man-made material. It has the amazing ability to absorb 99.98% of the light directed at it. This action is made possible through the length of the Nanotubes. The absorbed light stays within the confines of the tube long enough to dissipate into heat energy.

3d  vantablack object appearing to be 2d Another feature that this rate of light absorption offers is 3D-2D change. When objects are covered with this material, you are unable to distinguish any tangible detail. A statue covered with the material will lack definition and appear flat to the human eye.

Another interesting feature of this material seems superhydrophobic. When water is poured on a Vantablack surface, the water just floats on the surface. It does not seem to get wet which is a great feature for both artists and scientist.

It is so light that vibrations or shock won’t be able to affect it. Durability is assured since the material is not affected by temperature changes. In space or on earth, the material remains unchanged.

2018 Olympics

The world is excited for the 2018 winter Olympics. There are many exciting events to be expected and Asif Khan’s work is one of them. Asif Khan was not a stranger to Vantablack. He had been involved with the company before this version of Vantablack was introduced to the market.

There was an uproar as to why the material could not be licensed to more artists or commercialized to more studios. The rights to use Vantablack for art were bought by none other than Anish Kapoor. Meaning that no one else could use it for art in the world. People are mad but there is nothing to be done.

Back to Asif Khans work in the Pyeongyang Olympics which will enable people to peer into space. The four walls of the Hyundai pavilion will be covered in thousands of lights to ape what we might see in space.

“It will be like you’re looking into the depths of space itself, as you approach the building that star field will grow to fill your entire field of view, and then you’ll enter as though you’re being absorbed into a cloud of blackness.” Says Asif Khan. Many people are eager to experience this vision of space supported by the blackest manmade material on the planet.

Future of Vantablack

Vantablack was first made to be used in space exploration procedures. Its ability to absorb light was perfect for satellite explorations. Due to the minimization of light flares, the telescopes could pick better images and look further into space.

Another surprising use is in the jewelry industry especially pertaining to watches. These luxurious watches are limited since their cost can be quite high, however, the aesthetic appeal is incomparable. Swiss watchmakers have already gotten their hands on the material. You can get an MTC watch with the Vantablack background for around 95,000 dollars.

The automotive and mobile industry has not been left out. In the future, you will have car dashboards coated with the material. Your mobile cases or cameras may contain this material for aesthetic or functional use.

The chief technical officer at Surrey NanoSystems insists that the product can never be commercialized. He says “It has to be applied by specialist contractors trained by us, using a technique that forms a consistent nanostructure. It does not come in a spray can.”

We cannot wait for the inclusion of this material and its properties to our lives but for now, we sit and wait. The material is still new in the market and it is only proper to exercise control until proper parameters are established.

The unveiling of the 2018 Olympics will be a sight to see and a wonder to experience. If you will be at the Olympics, stop over at Asif Khan’s pavilion and peer into space. It may be the closest you ever get to a black hole.