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Experimental Observation of an Extremely Dark Material Made By a

Summary: Experimental Observation of an
Extremely Dark Material Made By a
Low-Density Nanotube Array
Zu-Po Yang, Lijie Ci,# James A. Bur, Shawn-Yu Lin,*, and Pulickel M. Ajayan#
The Future Chips Constellation & Department of Physics, Applied Physics and
Astronomy, and Department of Material Science and Engineering, Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180
Received September 14, 2007; Revised Manuscript Received December 9, 2007
An ideal black material absorbs light perfectly at all angles and over all wavelengths. Here, we show that low-density vertically aligned carbon
nanotube arrays can be engineered to have an extremely low index of refraction, as predicted recently by theory [Garcia-Vidal, F. J.; Pitarke,
J. M.; Pendry, J. B. Phys. Rev. Lett. 1997, 78, 4289-4292] and, combined with the nanoscale surface roughness of the arrays, can produce a
near-perfect optical absorption material. An ultralow diffused reflectance of 1 10-7 measured from such arrays is an order-of-magnitude
lower compared to commercial low-reflectance standard carbon. The corresponding integrated total reflectance of 0.045% from the nanotube
arrays is three times lower than the lowest-ever reported values of optical reflectance from any material, making it the darkest man-made
material ever.
An ideal black object absorbs all of the colors of light and
reflects none of them. The concept of a perfect absorber has
led to the introduction of a blackbody cavity and a successful
formulation of the Kirchhoff's law and Planck's radiation


Source: Ajayan, Pulickel M. - Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Rice University


Collections: Materials Science