Ultra-black materials reflect less than 1% of incident light, and are used in a wide variety of applications from low signal detector systems, to jewelry. The darkest ultra-black materials are made with vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VACNTs). One downside to these VACNT based ultra-black material, is they are extremely fragile, and the types of surfaces they can be grown on is limited. Here I created a strengthened ultra-black material that can withstand light handling and drying from water exposure, and can be transferred to other substrates while remaining ultra-black. I also present theoretical models with supporting data on how to make the current darkest films even darker. I was able to create a material that had a 0.008% reflectance, making it the new darkest material. Using VACNTs as a scaffold, I created high aspect-ratio patterned VACNT structures that were encompassed by a carbon encapsulation layer. I was able to expose weaknesses in the encapsulation layer by depositing a thin layer of silicon on the VACNTs inside the carbon encapsulation. Inserting lithium into the silicon caused the silicon to expand, resulting in stress on the encapsulation layer. This strain from the silicon stressed the encapsulation layer of the different geometries, exposing weak points. Using VACNTs as a template, I created high aspect ratio 3D structures made from copper using Galvanic displacement and electroplating.
College and Department
Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Physics and Astronomy
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Laughlin, Kevin, "Patterned and Infiltrated Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotube Ultra-Black Materials" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 9579.
carbon nanotubes, MEMs, ultra-black, VACNT, robust ultra-black