Scientists have created the blackest material ever made, so dark that it can absorb almost all light that hits it. The researchers, who were inspired by a completely white beetle, hope that the superblack material could help develop better and more efficient solar panels or completely change the way that they are made.
The material absorbs 99% of light, at all angles, making it 26% darker than carbon nanotubes, which are the darkest material before known. The ideal thing to absorb energy would be a dark material that “absorbs radiation and at all angles and polarisations”, the researchers write. That aim is probably impossible, but scientists still aspire to create ever darker materials. The study was published in Nature Nanotechnology.
People who have seen record-breaking dark materials say doing so is “strange” and “alien” as it is so dark that the eye can’t comprehend it, and instead just sees an unending abyss.