Boston College Physicist Willie J. Padilla and a team from Boston College and Duke Univ. have nanoengineered a material that absorbs all the light that strikes it. How much more black could it be? None more black.
The team designed and engineered a metamaterial that uses tiny geometric surface features to successfully capture the electric and magnetic properties of a microwave to the point of total absorption.
"Three things can happen to light when it hits a material," says Boston College Physicist Willie J. Padilla. "It can be reflected, as in a mirror. It can be transmitted, as with window glass. Or it can be absorbed and turned into heat. This metamaterial has been engineered to ensure that all light is neither reflected nor transmitted, but is turned completely into heat and absorbed. It shows we can design a metamaterial so that at a specific frequency it can absorb all of the photons that fall onto its surface."…
The metamaterial is the first to demonstrate perfect absorption and unlike conventional absorbers it is constructed solely out of metallic elements, giving the material greater flexibility for applications related to the collection and detection of light, such as imaging, says Padilla, an assistant professor of physics.
(via Beyond the Beyond<