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Darkest material developed in lab

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Troy, N.Y. (UPI) Feb 20, 2008
U.S. researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Rice University said they've created the darkest material ever made by man.

The material, a thin coating comprised of low-density arrays of loosely vertically aligned carbon nanotubes that absorbs more than 99.9 percent of light, could one day be used to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of solar energy conversion, infrared sensors and other devices, Rensselaer Polytechnic said in a release.

"It is a fascinating technology, and this discovery will allow us to increase the absorption efficiency of light as well as the overall radiation-to-electricity efficiency of solar energy conservation," Rensselaer physics professor Shawn-Yu Lin said in a statement. "The key to this discovery was finding how to create a long, extremely porous vertically-aligned carbon nanotube array with certain surface randomness, therefore minimizing reflection and maximizing absorption simultaneously."

The findings were published in the journal Nano Letters.

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The power of healing: damaged rubber repairs itself
Paris (AFP) Feb 20, 2008
French chemists on Wednesday announced they had created rubber that heals itself after it has been cut, a breakthrough that could lead to clothes that self-mend if torn and toys that repair themselves if damaged by a tot.

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