While most athletes and spectators are thinking of bronze, silver, and gold, there’s a new color garnering attention in PyeongChang right now — black. Vantablack, more precisely.
What is Vantablack?
Vantablack isn’t actually a “paint,” per se. It’s made up of millions of 20 nanometer-wide carbon tubes (about 3,500 times smaller in diameter than a human hair), each between 14 and 50 microns long, placed next to each other into what manufacturer Surrey NanoSystems calls a “a functionalised forest.”
In a one centimeter-squared surface area, there are about 1,000 million nanotubes. The tubes are grown in a specially designed chemical vapor deposition chamber under lamps that keeps the surface temperature at around 806 degrees Farenheit.
After entering what feels like a void of time and space, visitors continue into the pavilion and are transported to an opposing world of bright, white light. The room contains a hydrophobic water installation, also by Asif Khan, that produces 25,000 water droplets per minute.