Put your hands flat on the surface, leave in place for a few seconds and watch it leave a red handprint! These pigments, known as thermochromics, change colour or disappear when the temperature is raised, such as the heat from your body. Here we have painted a simple red background and applied the blue thermochromic, or heat sensitive, pigment on top. The heat from your hands will make the blue thermochromic pigment disappear, exposing the background colour. As the the pigment cools down to room temperature, it will revert to its original colour.
Absorbing up to 99.965% of all visible light, Vantablack is the blackest pigment ever created. Developed by Surrey Nano Systems, its name is an acronym, ‘Vertically Aligned NanoTube Arrays’, the material composed of a forest of vertical tubes which are ‘grown’ on a surface using a modified chemical vapor deposition process. When light hits its surface, instead of bouncing off, it becomes trapped and is deflected among the tubes, eventually becoming absorbed. Because they are not individual free particles, it cannot be dispersed into a paint. At present the artist Anish Kapoor has exclusive world rights on its artistic application.