Farnborough Air Show

Surrey NanoSystems Unveils “Super Black” Material for High-emissivity Applications

 - July 14, 2014, 5:20 AM
Surrey NanoSystems’ Vantablack technology has applications in optical instrumentation. Unlike previous technologies, the material can be applied to lightweight, sensitive structures–a big advantage.

Surrey NanoSystems (Hall 4 Innovation Zone, Stand A5 & A6) is here in Farnborough unveiling Vantablack, a “super black” material aimed at improving the range and sensitivity of electro-optical imaging and target-acquisition systems.

“Vantablack is a major breakthrough by UK industry in the application of nanotechnology to optical instrumentation; for example, it reduces stray-light, improving the ability of sensitive telescopes to see the faintest stars,” said Ben Jensen, chief technology officer of Surrey NanoSystems, which has patented a low-temperature carbon nanotube growth process.

The manufacture of “super black” carbon nanotube-based materials has traditionally required high temperatures, preventing their direct application to sensitive electronics or materials with relatively low melting points. The company emphasized its ability to apply Vantablack to lightweight, temperature-sensitive structures, such as aluminum, while absorbing a record 99.96 percent of incident radiation.

“We are now scaling up production to meet the requirements of our first customers in the defense and space sectors and have already delivered our first orders,” Jensen said. As part of the Vantablack development program, qualification to European Cooperation on Space standards was also achieved.