SiOnyx Inc., maker of a patented material known as black silicon, will develop technologies for sensing laser light in targeting systems under a new $3 million multiphase contract with the US Department of Defense. Based in Beverly, Mass., SiOnyx will create enhanced focal plane array designs for tactical imaging systems under the contract, awarded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Div. The award builds on support from ONR and the Night Vision Electronic Sensors Directorate to develop infrared-enhanced silicon detector designs, and the collaboration is expected to advance visible, near-infrared and short-wave infrared camera technology.
In October, SiOnyx announced that its black silicon ultrafast laser texturing technology achieved a 0.3 percent absolute efficiency boost over industry-standard baseline solar cells. The SiOnyx 156-mm multicrystalline silicon cells, made in collaboration with German research institute ISC Konstanz, achieved average absolute efficiencies of more than 17 percent. Vital for reducing the cost of silicon-based solar cells, the technology boosts efficiency in thinner wafers. SiOnyx said its black silicon process dramatically enhances the sensitivity of silicon-based photonics and represents a breakthrough in the development of smaller, cheaper, high-performing photonic devices in applications ranging from simple light detection to advanced digital imaging and photovoltaics.