. Space Industry and Business News .

Carbon nanotube forest camouflages 3d objects
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 25, 2011

Scanning electron microscope images show a tank etched out of silicon, with and without a carbon nanotube coating (top row). When the same structures are viewed under white light with an optical microscope (bottom row), the nanotube coating camouflages the tank structure against a black background. Credit: L. J. Guo et al, University of Michigan/Applied Physics Letters.

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.

"Low density carbon nanotube forest as an index-matched and near perfect absorption coating" is accepted for publication in Applied Physics Letters. Authors: Haofei Shi (1), Jong G. Ok (2), Hyoung Won Baac, (1) and L. Jay Guo (1).

Related Links
American Institute of Physics
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Disney plans more 3D remakes after 'Lion King'
Los Angeles (AFP) Sept 26, 2011
Disney plans to release 3D versions of four more classic movies, including "Finding Nemo" and "The Little Mermaid," after the success of the revived "The Lion King," the studio announced Tuesday. A 3D version of "Beauty and the Beast," originally from 1991, will hit screens in January next year, followed in September 2012 by Disney Pixar's "Finding Nemo," the cute fish tale which first made ... read more

Carbon nanotube forest camouflages 3d objects

Kindle sales quadrupled on Black Friday: Amazon

New Light Cast on Electrons Heated to Several Billion Degrees By Lasers

Researchers reduce smartphones' power consumption by more than 70 percent

Raytheon First to Successfully Test With On-Orbit AEHF Satellite

Lockheed Martin AMF JTRS Team Demonstrates Communications and Tactical Data Sharing At Army Exercise

Boeing Ships WGS-4 to Cape Canaveral for January Launch

Harris to maintain satellite ground system

Assembly milestone reached with Ariane 5 to launch next ATV

Pleiades 1 is readied for launch

SpaceX Searches For New Commercial Launch Site

Mobile Launcher Moves to Launch Pad

ITT Exelis and Chronos develop offerings for the Interference, Detection and Mitigation market

GMV Supports Successful Launch of Europe's Galileo

In GPS case, US court debates '1984' scenario

Galileo satellites handed over to control centre in Germany

US 'concerned' about EU airline carbon rules

German airline seeks Chinese, Gulf investors: report

Brazil a serious rival in air transport

Wolfram Alpha shows flights overhead

In new quantum-dot LED design, researchers turn troublesome molecules to their advantage

Researchers watch a next-gen memory bit switch in real time

An about-face on electrical conductivity at the interface

Graphene applications in electronics and photonics

Nigeria plans to relaunch satelite in December

Landsat 5 Mission in Jeopardy

China sends two satellites into space

Satellite images help species conservation

6,000 evacuated after China chemical plant blast

Bulgaria choking on hazardous air

Environmental troubles growing in Mid-East Gulf

Using air pollution thresholds to protect and restore ecosystem health


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement