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Santa Barbara Infrared to Use Surrey NanoSystems’ Vantablack Coating

Published on 2016-12-14. Author : SpecialChem

NEWHAVEN, UK -- Exclusive rights to the use of ultra-black Vantablack S-VIS surface coating in blackbody calibration sources has been agreed between Surrey NanoSystems and Santa Barbara Infrared.

The unparalleled broadband absorption of Vantablack S-VIS makes it ideally suited to enhancing the performance and utility of Santa Barbara Infrared’s (SBIR) precision electro-optical instrumentation, reinforcing its position in military, aerospace IR/FLIR testing and simulation markets. Initially, SBIR is using Surrey NanoSystems' UK facility to apply the Vantablack coating, while it establishes a local facility to serve the North American defense, aerospace and electro-optical markets.

Creating Blackbody Sources with Radiometric Performance

Santa Barbara Infrared to Use Surrey
NanoSystems’ Vantablack Coating

Commenting on the agreement, SBIR's President Steve McHugh notes: "The superb broad band absorption of Vantablack coatings and the highly uniform deposition layer, helps us to create blackbody sources offering extremely high radiometric performance without caveats - greatly enhancing ease of use."

Surrey NanoSystems’ CEO David Wong adds: “We’re really pleased to have Vantablack recognized by SBIR, who have a reputation built-on performance and precision. We’re also delighted to have a partner to simplify procurement and provide local support for Vantablack coatings in North America. We see this as crucial to serving such an important market”.

Blackest Surface Coating for UV to FIR Spectrum

Surrey NanoSystems' Vantablack is the world's blackest surface coating material for the UV to FIR spectrum. It employs an innovative nanomaterial structure that absorbs virtually all incident light. Vantablack was developed for space-borne imaging applications and offers exceptional IR absorption and excellent thermal, mechanical and environmental stability - attributes which uniquely qualify it for the most demanding applications. The material has already achieved space heritage with its recent deployment on an Earth observation satellite.

The S-VIS version of Vantablack traps over 99.8% of near- and mid-infrared wavelengths hitting its surface. It is applied using a simple spraying technique before being post-processed to achieve its exceptional broad band absorption characteristics and near-perfect Lambertian performance. This absorption is maintained over a wide-range of wavelengths and viewing angles, far-outstripping conventional black paints and other vacuum-deposited coatings. These characteristics are critical for SBIR’s specialized equipment, where compliance with rigorous US defense standards, long-term stability and traceable precision are essential attributes.

The active element of Vantablack S-VIS is a functionalized carbon nanotube matrix. The coating is applied using a proprietary process that includes a number of pre- and post-application steps to achieve its ultra-low reflectance. The process is scalable and suitable for high-volume production on both small and large substrates, and on complex 3D surfaces. Vantablack S-VIS can be applied to a variety of substrates, with the only major constraint being the ability of the substrate to withstand process temperatures of 100-150 degrees Centigrade, making the coating suitable for application onto many popular types of engineering-grade polymers and composite materials.

Since its launch in spring 2016, well over 100 Vantablack S-VIS projects have already been completed, including in space-borne instrumentation and military optical systems.

The agreement with SBIR provides the next platform for the further adoption of the technology.

About Surrey NanoSystems

Surrey NanoSystems combines British ingenuity and materials science for use in the development, growth and commercialization of strategically important nanomaterials, and particularly in the development and commercialization of super-black coatings. The company was founded in 2006 as a spinout from the University of Surrey, and is backed by some of the UK’s most successful IP commercialization and venture capital providers including IP Group PLC, Octopus, NewWave Ventures and Parkwalk Advisors. Located near Brighton in the UK, the company operates a modern cleanroom based nanomaterials research and production facility.

About Santa Barbara Infrared Inc (SBIR)

SBIR designs and manufactures the most technologically advanced infrared and electro-optical test instrumentation available. Its broad line of innovative products supports testing of military and commercial sensor systems are used world wide in laboratory, production, depot and field test applications. SBIR was founded in 1986 and quickly became the leader in the electro-optical (EO) test instrumentation field.

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Source: Surrey NanoSystems
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