SCIENCE: Scientists Invent Really Black Stuff

Image: © R. Capanna, A. Berlato, and A. Pinato

On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, a team of artists and scientists have made a 16.78-carat diamond — valued at more than $2 million — disappear.

Granted, denizens of the Stock Exchange are no strangers to making vast amounts of wealth vanish, but this time the scientists are doing the heavy lifting. Working with artist Diemut Strebe, a team of researchers from MIT covered the shimmering yellow diamond in a newly discovered type of carbon nanotube coating that turns 3D objects into black, almost 100% light-free voids.

According to the researchers, who described the coating in a study published Sept. 12 in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, this newfound nanotube structure is the blackest of black materials ever created, absorbing more than 99.996% of any light that touches it.

“Our material is 10 times blacker than anything that’s ever been reported,” lead study author Brian Wardle, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, said in a statement.

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