At the Frankfurt Motor Show the world’s first (and so far only known) vehicle finished in Vantablack® VBx2 coating was shown—a collaboration between BMW and Surrey Nanosystems, whose “Vantablack” is is a range of super-black coatings. The coatings are unique in their hemispherical reflectances below 1%, and they retain this level of performance from all viewing angles. The original coating, known just as Vantablack, holds the independently verified world record as the darkest man-made substance. It was originally developed for satellite-borne blackbody calibration systems and was applied in 2015 to eliminate sun glare in satellite positioning systems operating in space.
Vantablack coatings have unrivalled absorption from ultraviolet frequencies out beyond the terahertz spectral range. The properties of these coatings are being exploited for applications such as deep space imaging, art, æsthetics…and, as presented on Surrey Nanosystems’ website, automotive sensing and optical systems. The coatings could eliminate unwanted stray light and flare in automotive optical sensors and displays, for example, maintaining system availability and reliability even in extreme lighting conditions.
“Vantablack coatings eliminate reflectances in head up displays and camera glare shields. They significantly boost the performance of lidar sensors and are used to control stray light and to create unique designs in automotive lighting”, says Surrey NanoSystems Business Development Director Michael Stellmacher.