An architect will use the world’s darkest material to make a building that looks like somebody has ripped a hole in the horizon. The structure clad in Vantablack will be part of the Olympic Park in South Korea for next year’s Winter Games.
Vantablack is made of carbon nanotubes, which are one-atom thick sheets of carbon rolled into a cylinder. In the material they are arranged vertically in a grid, a little like trees in a forest. The arrangement means 95 percent of the surface is actually space between the nanotubes and that 99.96% of the light that hits its surface is absorbed. This means light hitting the material is bounced back and forth between the tubes: a miniscule proportion is reflected back from the tips, but the rest is instead turned into heat.
Asif Khan’s design is for a building with four curved sides covered in Vantablack, but with tiny lights dotted across the surface. The effect should be as if there’s a hole in your viewpoint with the ‘night’ sky shining through. Khan told CNN visitors will experience a “void of infinite depth and possibility.”
[Picture source: CNN]