Vantablack: the material so dark you can't see it

  • 16 July 2014
Vantablack material Image copyright Surrey NanoSystems
Image caption The material is so dark it's impossible to see the ridges in this aluminium foil

Scientists in East Sussex have developed a material so black that the human eye cannot understand what it is seeing.

The substance, named Vantablack, has been grown on sheets of aluminium foil.

On any surface it absorbs virtually all light that hits it, which is why it is invisible to the eye.

It is made from tiny carbon nanotubes - each 10,000 times thinner than a human hair.

These nanotubes are packed together so tightly that light cannot bounce off them.

It's hoped in future it could be used to help with the set up of special cameras looking deep into space.