Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nasa creates material that absorbs almost all light - 10th Nov 2011

Nasa engineers have come up with a material that absorbs more than 99 per cent of all light that strikes it.

Absorbent material usually pulls in ultraviolet and visible light - but this new material also captures infrared and far infrared light.

The development has even taken fellow Nasa scientists by surprise, and it promises to open new frontiers in space technology.

The team of engineers at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, reported the findings recently at the SPIE Optics and Photonics conference.

John Hagopian, leading the team, said reflectance tests were extremely positive, showing that the material has 50 times more absorbtion qualities than its rivals.

He said: 'Though other researchers are reporting near-perfect absorption levels, mainly in the ultraviolet and visible, our material is darn near perfect across multiple wavelength bands - from the ultraviolet to the far infrared.

'No one else has achieved this milestone yet.'

The material is a thin coating of carbon nanotubes - hollow and multi-walled tubes about 10,000 times thinner than a strand of human hair. Read More