waderoush writes "Forcing sulfur atoms into silicon using femtosecond laser pulses creates a material called 'black silicon' that is 100 to 500 times more sensitive to light than conventional silicon, in both the visible and infrared spectrums, according to SiOnyx, a venture-funded Massachusetts start-up that just emerged from stealth mode. Today's New York Times has a piece about the serendipitous discovery of black silicon inside the laboratory of Harvard physicist Eric Mazur. Meanwhile, a report in Xconomy explains how black silicon works and how SiOnyx and manufacturing partners hope to use it to build far more efficient photovoltaic cells and more sensitive detectors for medical imaging devices, surveillance satellites, and consumer digital cameras."
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