Harvard (TGW) – SiOnyx is using a material, “black silicon”, Harvard scientists accidentally discovered almost 10 years ago that is 100 to 500 times more sensitive to light than traditional silicon.
The silicon is produced by placing ordinary silicon into a vacuum chamber together with sulfur hexafluoride gas and exposing it to ultra-intense laser pulses equivalent to the collective strength of the total sunlight hitting Earth concentrated on a surface area that's about the size of a human fingernail.
The treated silicon can absorb twice as much visible light as regular silicon and unlike standard silicon is sensitive to invisible infrared light. It can absorb approximately 96 to 98 percent of visible light.
SiOnyx, a three year old startup with $11 million in the bank, has licensed the material.
Black silicon could radically change the solar industry. Furthermore, black silicon can be manufactured using the same equipment used today.
Via :: Good Clean Tech