nanotube arrays
adVANTATM Black: What is it?
adVANTA is a vertically aligned nanotube array coating, having world class absorption across the UV, visible and infrared. It is used to coat optical components that must be non-reflective, absorbing and completely black across the visible and IR spectrum. This optical coating was developed under NASA support, (Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) “Nanostructured Super-Black Optical Materials” (S2.02-8177)), along with a number of other materials and processes for the production of very high absorbance optical and infrared blacks.
Our coating lab in Waltham, MA is equipped to deposit the VANTA coatings on customer parts. please email us with your requirements. NanoLab offers two products to meet the needs of optical engineers:
  • adVANTA (vertically aligned nanotube arrays) and
  • Singularity, which is a paint-like analog of the aligned forest.

  • adVANTATM Black: How is it processed?
    adVANTA is synthesized in a two step process, catalyzation and growth.
    1. Catalyst Deposition can be accomplished by sputtering or by a newly formulated sprayable catalyst formulation. During catalyzation, nanoparticles of iron are deposited on the surface, so that each one will nucleate a carbon nanotube.
    2. CVD Processing After the part has been masked and catalyzed, it is moved to a thermal chemical vapor deposition system, where the vertically aligned nanotubes are grown. Processing temperatures are around 600C, which limits the substrates that can be used with this process. adVANTA is readily grown on metal surfaces, quartz, silicon, and others for use as beam dump coatings, black body sources, etc.

    For parts that cannot tolerate this temperature, we developed a transfer process where we can apply the CNT array to another part using an adhesive, like an applique' or wallpaper. This is used primarily for thermoplastic components that need this coating.
    We also developed the Singularity paint as a lower temperature option.

    adVANTATM Black: What are its Properties?
    adVANTA has world class performance in the visible, NIR and IR (<1% reflectance from 250nm to 25 microns) exceeding the optical properties of other commercially available products like Acktar's metal velvet and Martin Black.
    It has passed multiple outgassing, vibration, thermal cycling and other tests to validate it for aerospace use.
    We have collected UV-VIS-NIR diffuse & spectral reflectance values BRDF data for these aligned arrays (aka forests or carpets).
    NanoLab has a proprietary spray catalysis and growth process that lets us create these coatings on your baffles, telescopes spars, and other optical parts.
    We have a full compliment of scratch & adhesion test data, along with vibration tests and outgassing rates.
    We also offer a 'repair kit' for scratched optical components to restore black coatings to <1% reflectance in the visible.
    All work is done domestically, by US citizens in an ITAR compliant facility. Call us to discuss custom work 781 609 2722.

    UV-VIS-NIR reflectance of nanotube black coating   BRDF data of nanotube black via sputtering   BRDF data of nanotube black via sprayed catalyst
    UV-VIS NIR data (Perkin Elmer Lambda 19 UV-VIS-NIR with integrating sphere)     BRDF (CASI Scatterometer TM from Schmitt) data from aligned nanotubes at various wavelength (L) and AOI (Angle of Incidence) (R)
  • adVANTATM Black has lower total reflectance than competitors across a broad wavelength spectrum
  • adVANTATM Black has an average BRDF value below 0.01 for almost all conditions, and an average blackness value around 0.0001 for NIR wavelengths. Scans with incident angles from 5° to 70° provide substantially similar BRDF characteristics.
  • The adVANTATM Black has been tested for flight qualifications:

    ✔ Pass 400 cleanliness specifications per Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST).

    ✔ Pass thermal cycling tests between -60 oC and 85 oC at a ramp rate of 10 - 20 oC/minute, per Ball Aerospace

    ✔ Pass NASA General Environmental Verification Specification (GEVS) and Delta IV rocket vibration tests

    Please contact us at for more information and pricing