Scientists at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Teddington, Middlesex, UK have good news for manufacturers and users across the optical instrumentation industry. Based on existing processes developed in the US and Japan, a team of researchers at NPL has developed a new technique for commercial manufacturing of ultra-black coatings, which represent one of the blackest, lowest reflectance surfaces developed so far.
Performance of optical instrumentation depends on the quality of materials used in their manufacture. For the accuracy of measurement in the ultra-violet, infra-red and visible regions, optimal radiation detection and minimisation of stray light is crucial.
By studying the effect of different methods of chemical etching on various compositions of nickel-phosphorous alloys, researchers have come up with the most effective commercially available black coating to date. With reflectance as low as 0.35% in the visible region, the coating, known as NPL Super Black or Ni-P black – as it is based on a nickel -phosphorous compound – is set to have a major impact in fields such as radiometry, spectroscopy, optical metrology, and within the aerospace and defence industries.
Noor Kheir | alfa
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