Scientists have discovered that objects coated with a forest of carbon nanotubes can be made to disappear against a dark background (Image: Alex Hopkinson)
Scanning electron microscope images show a tank etched out of silicon, with and without a carbon nanotube coating (top row) - when the same structures are viewed under white light with an optical microscope (bottom row), the nanotube coating camouflages the tank structure against a black background (Image: University of Michigan)
Although Klingon-style disappearing spaceships may not be in our neighborhood any time soon, the technology that could allow a spaceship to vanish from sight may be here now. Scientists from the University of Michigan have successfully made a three-dimensional etched silicon image of a tank appear as a featureless black void, that completely blended in with the backdrop surrounding it. The secret: good ol’ carbon nanotubes.
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