I'm sure many of my readers know the Rolling Stones Vietnam-era classic, 'Paint It Black'.
I hadn't been aware that there's tremendous competition to develop a surface coating that's more intensely black than anything else. This is apparently very important for applications ranging from optics (to coat the internal surfaces of cameras, photographic satellites, telescopes, and so on) to camouflage (for use at night, as fake shadows, or to hide features). Now a British company, Surrey Nanosystems, claims to have developed the world's blackest material, which can be layered or spray-painted onto almost anything.
Vantablack, first created in 2014, uses "carbon nanotube matrix" to absorb virtually all incident light - and makes three dimensional objects appear two dimensional, as their surface shape becomes virtually invisible.
"It is ... some 17 times less reflective than the super-black paint used for minimizing stray light in the Hubble space telescope," notes the Newhaven-based company.
It's been primarily used in the space and defense industries, but Surrey NanoSystems says the the new, sprayable version, Vantablack S-VIS, can be applied at large scale to "virtually any surface" - opening up greater possibilities for use in the commercial sector.
There's more at the link.
Here's a BBC report on Vantablack.
Fascinating stuff to bring out the inner geek!