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NASA creates groundbreaking super black light absorbing material

November 10, 2011 | Hogan Keyser
November 9, 2011 by Matthew Humphries via -- Even though NASA has drastically scaled back its missions into space, that doesn't mean the agency has stopped research for the benefit of space exploration. Evidence of this comes in the form of a new, super-black material that just got unveiled during the SPIE Optics and Photonics conference.

NASA is claiming it is the most light absorbent material ever developed, and capable of absorbing 99% of ultraviolet, infrared, far-infrared, and visible light. That may not sound too impressive on its own until you find out what it can be used for and the benefits it brings.

The super-black material is about 10,000 times thinner than a human hair and created using carbon nanotubes. Those nanotubes are positioned and grown on multiple other materials including silicon, stainless steel, and titanium. The process of applying the coating requires heating the surface up to 1,382 degrees in an oven filled with a "carbon-coating feedstock gas".

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