Ten years ago, graduate students at Harvard University found a way of making silicon more responsive, by blasting the surface with a wafer, using a brief pulse of laser energy, along with dopants. They called the result “black silicon”, which was a much improved silicon and was able to absorb protons and release electrons much better. Now a company went official and said that they have been working for three years on this technology and are going to commercialize this process.
The company that will develop the “black silicon” is called SiOnyx and is confident that their technology is able to help manufacturers build much more efficient photovoltaic cells and sensitive detectors, without using anything else than the silicon-based process they currently use.
Black silicon could revolutionize some of nowadays technologies, like solar energy generation, medical imaging and digital photography.
“You’ve never been able to detect light the way this stuff detects light. It means that you solve a clear and obvious pain point for a very large number of customers,” says Stephen Saylor, SiOnyx CeO.