BEVERLY, Mass., Oct. 20, 2010 — Harvard photonics spinoff SiOnyx Inc. announced Wednesday that its latest, $12.5 million funding round includes its strategic partner, laser giant Coherent Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., among its new investors.
Based on a novel laser implant method first discovered at Harvard and commonly referred to as "black silicon," SiOnyx's patented semiconductor process dramatically enhances the performance of light-sensing devices across a range of applications in the consumer, industrial, medical and defense industries and could lead to the development of smaller, cheaper, high-performing silicon photonic devices, the company said. (See Harvard Spinoff Takes on $200B Global Market for Silicon
) SiOnyx recently demonstrated record-breaking photosensitivity in collaboration with the Army Research Office (See SiOnyx Detectors Set Milestone
) and is currently working with a number of industry and government partners to advance the use of its technology.
"Coherent's investment in SiOnyx, one of our strategic partners, reflects our confidence in the company and its technology to help us capture new opportunities in the photovoltaic industry as it continues to expand towards grid parity," said John Ambroseo, Coherent president and CEO.
New investors participating in the series B funding round were venture capital and growth equity firm Crosslink Capital, and Vulcan Capital, the venture firm started by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Existing investors Polaris Venture Partners and Harris & Harris also participated, SiOnyx said.
"We expect the disruptive nature of SiOnyx's technology to create entirely new product categories and deliver powerful performance enhancements to the multibillion dollar market for silicon photonics," said Vulcan Capital venture partner Jill Watz.
“Our early success in delivering record-breaking performance in applications from simple light detection to thin-film photovoltaics has fueled our momentum. With this new funding, SiOnyx will launch our first commercial products and expand the suite of solutions offered to our strategic partners,” said SiOnyx CEO Stephen Saylor.
For more information, visit: www.sionyx.com