«Black silicon» on a commercialization threshold: technological break or fairy tales for investors?

The South American company SiOnyx is ready to commercialization of development which, allegedly, can cause revolutionary configurations in digital cameras, devices of night vision and solar batteries. There is a speech about a material under the title «black silicon» (black silicon) which practically a case was made about 10 years ago by Eric Masur (Eric Mazur), the physicist of the Harward institute.

Carrying out researches in interests of military department, Masur decided to deviate the main aaplet and tried to irradiate a silicon plate with small impulses of the laser at presence гексафторида sulfurs — the gas applied in production of chips. In appearance the plate became dark, and its research under a microscope showed that the surface of silicon appeared is covered with microscopic cone-shaped ledges (the 1st picture).

«Black silicon» on a commercialization threshold: technological break or fairy tales for investors?

As it appears, «black silicon» considerably surpasses ordinary in a photosensitivity in a visible range and is capable to accept infra-red radiation. It is very nice feature for such appendices, as solar batteries and image sensors.

It is important that development of «black silicon» can be completely mastered in modern semi-conductor production, without demanding essential costs.

Vobshchem to be engaged in creation of SiOnyx does not plan. The company purpose — technology finishing before commercial introduction and sale of licenses to producers.

The SiOnyx company was created in 2005. At first it got of 2006 support of researchers from Harvard, and in 2007 received 11 million dollars of the venture capital from Harris & Harris, Polaris Venture Partners and RedShift Ventures. The decision to tell to general public how there are affairs, the company explains «existence of a sufficient impulse regarding strategic partners and technology». Vobshchem, it is not excluded that the whole matter is in the economic decline — financing of venture projects is turned off and to receive the next millions, without having made noise in the press, becomes unreal.

«Black silicon» on a commercialization threshold: technological break or fairy tales for investors?

In a picture — representatives of the company with standards of «black silicon»: James Cari (James Carey), being the student accepting a role in Masur’s works (at the left), and Stephen Seylor (Stephen Saylor) heading SiOnyx.

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