The thermal and mechanical shock resistance. Due to Vantablack’s

The complex structure of carbon nanotubes
allows it to maintain certain properties such as electrical and thermal
conductivity as well as mechanical strength. In order to obtain these complex
structures and properties, however, the carbon tubes need to be synthesized into
their according structures. Chemical vapor deposition is the most common
technique, although other synthesis methods such as arc discharge and laser ablation
can be used. In chemical vapor deposition, vaporized hydrocarbons are heated
and decomposed by a metal catalytic substrate which serves as a template for
nanotube formation. The uniqueness of carbon nanotubes extends far beyond their
structures and properties, as their level of compliance with different fields
is vast. From building the darkest color to providing a medium for tissue
regrowth, there seems to be few boundaries for these nanomaterials.


            Vantablack is a material created by
Surrey Nanosystems which was originally created for satellite-borne blackbody
calibration systems6. Vantablack is currently being recognized as
one of the darkest man made materials as it reflects only 0.036% of light6.  When it is applied to a 3D surface, the
object appears to lose its dimension to the darkness and resembles a black hole
in space (Image 26). Its
high absorption extends from the UV spectrum, into the visible, and also the
infrared (>16microns)6. The reason it absorbs such a large range
of light is because of vertically aligned carbon nanotube arrays (VANTA). The
arrays contain spacing which permit the entrance of a photon, however, the light/radiation
reflects between the tubes and eventually becomes absorbed as it is converted
to heat. The heat is then transferred to the nanotubes’ substrate which can be made
of aluminum alloys, cobalt, copper, nickel, sapphire and more. Besides optical
properties, Vantablack contains other properties make it an extraordinary
material. For example, it is very hydrophobic and therefore prevents water from
interfering with optical properties and it also has high thermal and mechanical
shock resistance. Due to Vantablack’s properties, it can be applied to various
pieces of technology to enhance data collection and imaging. Some applications
include its incorporation into IR imaging, Spectroscopy, telescopes, sensors,
and calibration sources.

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