The world’s blackest ink brings empty voids to the page

Image of article titled The world's blackest ink will make your doodles look like empty voids on the page

Outside of military and aerospace applications, there are not yet many practical uses for the incredibly black paints created in research laboratories, unless you consider recreate the slapstick comedy of a Looney Tunes cartoon in real life an important application. But there is no denying these non-reflective paints are impressive, and if you are a calligrapher or prolific scribbler, Blink promises to be the blackest ink you can buy.

If you are not aware of the drama behind these remarkable materials, buckle up for a crash course. In 2014, a British company named Surrey NanoSystems invented a coating of pigment called Vantablack, where “Vanta” was an acronym – Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Array – that described how the pigment worked. Vantablack is made from microscopic carbon nanotubes capable of trapping and absorbing 99.965% of visible light instead of reflecting it. Reflected light is the way the human eye sees the world, and without it, Vantablack-covered objects look like characteristic black holes.

Seven years after its inception, most people haven’t experienced Vantablack’s particular optical effects in real life because an artist, Anish Kapoor, owns the exclusive rights for use outside military and aerospace applications. As with most tech for the military, its export from the UK is tightly controlled, and we still don’t know how safe materials like Vantablack are: some research suggests carbon nanotubes could be carcinogenic.

The manufacture of highly non-reflective pigments, however, is not a process exclusive to Surrey NanoSystems, and companies like Koyo Orient Japan have created alternatives such as Black Musou which absorbs 99.4% of visible light, by comparison, produce almost the same results like Vantablack does, but without the availability restrictions.

Image of article titled The world's blackest ink will make your doodles look like empty voids on the page

But while Vantablack and Musou Black require special application processes and equipment, Blink is promised to be the “blackest black ink” that can still be used in paint markers or with calligraphy and brushes to create a finish. waterproof mat that appears much blacker than traditional inks by reducing reflectivity. The amount of light absorbed by the Blink ink is not known (we contacted cultural turmoil for more specific details), but a 30ml bottle retails for just $ 17, so don’t expect it to quite match the performance of materials like Vantablack, although it will undoubtedly outperform your Trusted sharpies.


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