Black Silicon discovery could change digital photography

I guess the DSLR market will not be saturated any time soon... ISO 12,800 or more anyone?

"With the accidental discovery of black silicon, Harvard physicists may have very well changed the digital photography, solar power and night vision industries forever. What is black silicon, you say? Well, it's just as it sounds. Black silicon. It's what this revolutionary new material does that's important, starting with light sensitivity. Early indications show black silicon is 100 to 500 times more sensitive to light than a traditional silicon wafer."

NY Times via Gizmodo

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  • E

    The 500x light sensitivity, only 2x is visible light. This could well change IR photography, but not likely visibe light. Can you imagine the ir blocking filters we would need

  • ok, so the ISO will be only 12800…

  • Niloy

    Holy shit man, this is super huge!!!

  • Anonymous

    I really hope they work on improving dynamic range, not just sensitivity.

  • somebody

    don’t think so narrowly (just DSLR) 😉 hat’s great news!
    But hope you sold your solar-shares 😉 This info really sucks for solar-companies whose income is based on their technology i guess.

    • Rthomas

      The best solar companies (don’t ask me which those are) will adopt this new tech as soon as it is feasible to bring a working product to the market. How long will that be, though? Pure science sometimes takes many years to find a working application.

  • kdrocks

    Hi everyone, I’m new here in NR. Though have been reading since few weeks back.

    To topic, so, we would not need flash anymore (I can only imagine this since I have never owned a flash gun before). ISO 12,800 and beyond seems…well a lot.

    Maybe can still use flash for fill…man, wedding PJ would go crazy with this much ISO….

  • PHB

    This is raw research so don’t expect it to make it into product for five years at the earliest. The basic idea seems to be that if you roughen up the surface of the silicon you get extra chances to absorb.

    I would not be too hung up on the fact that this is more IR than visible at this point, it is early stages.

    Nor would I see this as being a bad thing for solar cell producers. Harvard is not going to go into business making cells they will license the patent and folk will be happy to pay up.

    • Crabby

      I’m still waiting for Nikon’s patent on a non-Bayer sensor to be produced with ordinary silicon! Maybe the D400.

  • Ed

    This is old news. Every time they go looking for government money to fund research, they put out another press release. Sometimes gullible news outlets pick it up as though it was new.

    • yes, it is old news – sorry I was very busy with the blog transfer.

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