Under contract to NASA, NanoLab developed a number of coating processes for the production of very high absorbance optical blacks for stray light suppression. NanoLab offers three product lines to meet the needs of optical engineers and artists:
Singularity Technical Data Sheet TDS
SingularityTM Black, What is it?
Singularity is a nanotube filled, solvent based paint that has exceptionally strong absorption in the visible, and is similar in performance to the vertically aligned arrays of nanotubes that are the blackest items known to mankind. Singularity has world class performance in the visible, NIR and IR (<1.25% reflectance from 400nm to 1600nm) exceeding the optical properties of other commercially available products like Acktar's Metal Velvet and Z306. Singularity's grazing angle performance is unmatched. Formulations are available for use as beam dump coatings,black body sources, etc.
For the trained artist community, the Singularity line offers an intense matte black, a void-like experience.
SingularityTM Black, How is it applied?
The paint is solvent based, and requires application in a spray booth or fume hood, or with protective solvent vapor/particulate masks suited to the task. Air brush spraying is the recommended application techniques, but parts can also be dipped. Substrates and spray guns should be resistant to chemical attack from solvents such as MEK and THF. We find that an Iwata Eclipse or Badger 150 airbrush is well suited for small scale coating jobs. Coverage at ~1ml/cm2 results in a thick coating that performs well in the IR and visible. Thinner coats may perform well in the visible. After spray application, a heat cure is required to activate the coating. Once activated, it is a 'no-touch' surface. We offer a toughened version on request that can be gently handled.
The heat cure requires that the coating see 120C for 1-2 minutes. This decomposes the low residue, environmentally friendly binder, which converts to CO2 and H2O. While fragile, Singularity coatings can be field repaired with a air brush and a heat gun.
In addition to these offerings, we have created applique' versions that let you 'wallpaper' the coating onto parts with low melting points that could not withstand our part coating process. We also offer a 'repair kit' for scratched optical components to restore black coatings to <1.2% reflectance in the visible.
SingularityTM Black, Low Temperature
As of June 2019, NanoLab discontinued the high temperature version of Singularity, and now offers only the low temperature (SBI-LT) activating formulation that can be applied to most substrates, such as metals, polymers, canvas cloth, wood & paper. This formulation has all the same optical properties of original Singularity, but requires only about 120oC (300oF) to activate. In lab, we have activated the coating with a commercial hair dryer or heat gun/paint stripper. Air brush spraying is the recommended application technique for this paint.
SingularityTM Black, Coating Services
NanoLab provides coating services for baffles, telescope components, and other optical parts, or artists works. All work is done domestically, by US citizens in an ITAR compliant facility. For coating of customer parts, see our
Or call us to discuss custom work (781) 609 2722 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
SingularityTM Black, What are its properties?
We have collected UV-VIS-NIR diffuse & spectral reflectance values BRDF data for this coating.We have a full compliment of scratch & adhesion test data, along with vibration tests and outgassing rates. SingularityTM Black has been tested for various flight qualifications:
✔ Cleanliness level of <200 per Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST) STD-CC1246E.
✔ Pass thermal cycling tests between -60 oC and 85 oC at a ramp rate of 10 - 20 oC/minute, per Ball Aerospace
✔ Vibration - tested to General Environmental Verification Specification (GEVS) and BPL profile
SingularityTM Black -LT
has a reflectance of <1.25% in the visible & <0.5% in the infrared, out to 24 microns. when applied to polished aluminum. On highly textured surfaces, we can make coatings that are even more absorbing across this range.
SingularityTM Black How To
The video at right gives an overview of coating application technique with Singularity. We also offer classes in-house where students will work with making the deepest blacks possible using Singularity Black. You will have access in your session to our Material Scientists, Chemists, and Artist in Residence to collaborate and brainstorm with.
This class is one on one and can be scheduled based on customer’s availability and lab availability. Please contact Singularity Learning Opportunities to discuss further.
We sell Singularity Black LT in 4 sizes: 20ml, 250ml, 500ml and 1000ml:
All Singularity Black paints are flammable, and shipped via FEDEX GROUND domestically and EXPRESS internationally, wherever hazmat shipments are allowed - please note all applicable shipping costs including all hazmat surcharges will be added to your invoice.
Call (781) 609 2722 or email us at email@example.com to get a custom quote or to have us process your parts in our state of the art, cleanroom facility.
NanoLab thanks NASA for its support of the development of super-black coatings under a Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant titled “Nanostructured Super-Black Optical Materials” (S2.02-8177).
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