Skip Navigation
Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Nanostructured Super-Black Optical Materials

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Nanostructured Super-Black Optical Materials
Need: NASA faces challenges in imaging and characterizing faint astrophysical objects within the glare of brighter stellar sources. Achieving a very low background requires control of both scattered and diffracted light. Significance of the Innovation: Aligned arrays of carbon nanotubes have recently been recognized as having world-leading optical absorption, far above competing state of the art materials. The nanotube array's diffuse reflectance (10-7) was demonstrated at two orders of magnitude lower than commercially available low reflectance carbons (10-5). The integrated total reflectance 0.045%, bested the field of competing materials, which are typically >1% at optical wavelengths. However, these arrays were produced on silicon, so they have limited utility for aerospace applications. NanoLab identified the potential to grow these arrays on flexible substrates, and proposed a Phase I effort to explore their properties. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Project Library

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

Technology Transitions

Light bulb

Suggest an Edit

Recommend changes and additions to this project record.