Pure black nanomaterial spray paint traps 99.8% of light

March 14, 2016 // By Julien Happich
Surrey NanoSystems now makes the world's blackest surface coating material, Vantablack, available in a spray paint version. Vantablack's nanomaterial structure absorbs virtually all incident light, and was designed to optimize the performance of precision optical systems.

Called Vantablack S-VIS, the new nanomaterial spray paint greatly widens the applications potential, making it possible to coat much larger and more complex shapes and structures, as well as many new materials including engineering polymers. Even though the material is applied using a simple spraying process, it traps 99.8% of incident light hitting its surface.

Vantablack was originally developed for aerospace engineering applications, such as satellite-based optics like star trackers and earth observation imaging and calibration systems. It increases the sensitivity of these optical systems by improving the absorption of stray ultraviolet, visible and infrared light. Other applications include collector elements in solar energy systems, architecture, cinematography, coating optical elements in high performance cameras, spectroscopy instrumentation, cold shields, improving the signal-to-noise ratio of optical sensors, and ultra-black colouring. The active element of the Vantablack S-VIS spray paint is a carbon nanotube material.

The super-black coating is applied using a patented manufacturing and spray-painting process, combined with pre- and post-spray steps developed to produce extreme levels of absorption. The process is scalable and suitable for high volume production on small to large substrates (as long as they can withstand a 100ºC process step).
The structured surface of Vantablack S-VIS means that it is not recommended for applications where it is open to physical contact or abrasion, hence it is typically applied on surfaces that are protected, such as within a packaged product or behind glass or other protective layers.
Although the Vantablack S-VIS spray coating is offered as a service from Surrey NanoSystem's processing centre in the UK, the company is looking to license its process to companies wishing to integrate the coating into production processes.

Visit Surrey NanoSystems at www.surreynanosystems.com