Dark matter: Scientists come up with ‘blackest’ material to date

© Regis Duvignau
A new material absorbs up to 99 percent of light that hits its surface, making it the ‘blackest’ man-made material ever produced.

Scientists from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia have developed a material comprising nanoparticles composed of a nano rod - which helps absorb light.

Light is absorbed regardless of the angle or polarization at which it hits the surface - a feature that makes it stand out as other black materials have been known to absorb more light at specific points in the spectrum.

As a result, this “blackest material ever” can absorb 98-99 percent of light in the spectrum between 400 and 1,400 nanometers, taking in 26 percent more light than any other known material so far.

The research published in Nature Nanotechnology oddly took inspiration from a white cyphochilus beetle, which is very good at reflecting light thanks to its crystalline structured scales.

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Scientists in Saudi Arabia studied the beetle in a bid to invert the structure of the scales and create a material that absorbs light as effectively as the beetle reflects it.

This discovery may open up new horizons for solar energy development as well as help create more efficient optical connections.