SiOnyx Raises Funding for Black Silicon Technology
SiOnyx to begin commercial production of black silicon next year
SiOnyx, a company spawned by Harvard University, announced today that it has raised $12.5 million in Round B venture capital funding to pursue the commercialization of its latest technological development, black silicon. The funding came largely from Coherent, a laser manufacturer, and Vulcan Capital, a venture investment firm. SiOnyx plans to use this money to hire more staff members to bring its black silicon technology to the solar cell manufacturing and consumer electronics markets.
SiOnyx creates black silicon by hitting silicon with laser pulses in a controlled gas environment. The lasers make the crystalline structures of the silicon reform in such a way that the surface absorbs more light, becoming almost completely non-reflective. This technology can improve the efficiency of solar cells by approximately 1% while eliminating the need for harsh chemicals to treat the silicon. It also lowers manufacturing costs.
Because the SiOnyx black silicon can improve the efficiency of devices that are sensitive to light, the company believes that it will be most useful in consumer electronics, such as cameras, and in solar manufacturing. The company expects to have its first black silicon products ready for commercial production next year, although the exact release date will depend on the input of SiOnyx partners.