Drudge: Zogby Says McCain In Lead By 1 point. Surging Among NASCAR Fans, Blue Collar Workers And Men | Main | Obama's Aunt: An Illegal Alien, Getting Government Benefits, Who Donated to Barry's Campaign [someone]
November 01, 2008

"black" Silicon

Interesting stuff. They have manufacturing scalability issues though.

...captures nearly all of the sun's light. "It is basically a sponge for light, both visible and infrared," says CEO Stephen Saylor...
The cool thing is that its picking up in the IR spectrum as well as visible, which traditional silicon is pretty useless for. Its usefulness as a power generating technology remains to be seen, but it looks pretty good for improving light sensor performance. Sounds like they've gotten a ~200X reduction in the amount of power needed to operate a light sensor.


More info HERE and HERE.

That they talk about doing a melt and recrystallization suggests pretty high power pulses. There's no mention of what the beam width is when they do this, so it could be a pretty narrow beam -- which is where their scalability problems may be coming from. You can't do nano-scale operations and produce shit by the square mile in any practical manner.

We were initially doing this sort of pinpoint stuff, but managed to get good results with a beam the optics fan out very wide. Using wafer based technology is also a very limiting factor for scalability and manufacturing cost -- one of the basic problems with traditional silicon. Nano-solar got around this with the magic goop they spray on a flexible substrate and dispensed with wafers entirely. We'll be eliminating wafers as well in what I'm working on. They cost too much and are limiting on your final material form factor. Wafers are fine for proving concept in the lab, but they really kinda suck when you want to roll high volume manufacture and have nonrestrictive form factors in the final product.

I've occasional mentioned that there will be a slew of new material science developments over the next 10 years that will be transformational for the US economy and industry. What these folks have managed to do with silicon is a small taste of what's to come. There'll be a lot of novel processing of common materials that get them to behave in ways that are very uncommon. Science is just starting to scratch the surface of how materials really behave at the nano-level, and traditional processing methods, like ion implantation, have intrinsic limitations to the kind of elements you can process with them. That is going to change. Actually it has already changed ;->

digg this
posted by Purp at 12:38 AM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
teej: "Heh. Chemistry. What I'm doing now, Pb stands f ..."

NaCly Dog[/i][/b][/s]: "Looking forward to it, teej. May all your gro ..."

teej: "Sweet. And fair warning, they aren't going to sou ..."

Eromero: "And it's butter coffee! That makes it a good morni ..."

NaCly Dog[/i][/b][/s]: "Na / K alloy. Sheesh. I should have taken typi ..."

Skip: "Finally some coffee ..."

NaCly Dog[/i][/b][/s]: "The Political Hat What a crazy video. I'd nev ..."

Jean: "Bonsai as the key to Japanese culture - careful cu ..."

ThePrimordialOrderedPair: "[i]This asphalt sealing/paving thing is a classic. ..."

NaCly Dog[/i][/b][/s]: "Teej Will do. ..."

Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars (TM) [/b][/i][/s][/u]: " Geez, Jim, your very own "I am Ted Kaczynski's b ..."

NaCly Dog[/i][/b][/s]: "GGE of the Moron Horde, NC Chapter Life is good ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64