Black silicon is poised to improve digital imaging, maybe solar panels

We're big fans of silicon, but it turns out the stuff has been slacking off, and all it needs is a little nudge from sulfur hexafluoride and a high-powered laser to start working harder. When it gets that nudge it becomes a new material called black silicon that's between 100 and 500 times more sensitive to light -- including, amazingly, infrared. Some of the folks who accidentally invented black silicon started a company called SiOnyx, and with $11 million in venture financing, they're trying to commercialize it -- first for night vision and later for digital cameras, medical imaging, and maybe even solar cells. The benefits are obvious, but like a lot of other future miracle technologies we've heard about, it's still just science fiction to consumers until a solid deal is struck to bring it to market.

[Via Slashdot]