Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Carbon nanotube forest camouflages 3-D objects

Date:
November 22, 2011
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
Researchers demonstrate that a carbon nanotube coating can absorb light nearly perfectly, making structural details disappear into a black background.

Carbon nanotubes, tiny cylinders composed of one-atom-thick carbon lattices, have gained fame as one of the strongest materials known to science. Now a group of researchers from the University of Michigan is taking advantage of another one of carbon nanotubes' unique properties, the low refractive index of low-density aligned nanotubes, to demonstrate a new application: making 3-D objects appear as nothing more than a flat, black sheet.

The refractive index of a material is a measure of how much that material slows down light, and carbon nanotube "forests" have a low index of refraction very close to that of air. Since the two materials affect the passage of light in similar ways, there is little reflection and scattering of light as it passes from air into a layer of nanotubes. The Michigan team realized they could use this property to visually hide the structure of objects.

As described in the AIP's journal Applied Physics Letters, the scientists manufactured a 3-D image of a tank out of silicon. When the image was illuminated with white light, reflections revealed the tank's contours, but after the researchers grew a forest of carbon nanotubes on top of the tank, the light was soaked up by the tank's coating, revealing nothing more than a black sheet.

By absorbing instead of scattering light, carbon nanotube coatings could cloak an object against a black background, such as that of deep space, the researchers note. In such cases the carbon nanotube forest "acts as a perfect magic black cloth that can completely conceal the 3-D structure of the object," the researchers write.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Haofei Shi, Jong G. Ok, Hyoung Won Baac, L. Jay Guo. Low density carbon nanotube forest as an index-matched and near perfect absorption coating. Applied Physics Letters, 2011; 99: 211103 DOI: 10.1063/1.3663873

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "Carbon nanotube forest camouflages 3-D objects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111121114857.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2011, November 22). Carbon nanotube forest camouflages 3-D objects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111121114857.htm
American Institute of Physics. "Carbon nanotube forest camouflages 3-D objects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111121114857.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Reuters - US Online Video (July 29, 2014) Passengers stuck overnight on a whale watching boat return safely to Boston. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins