Creators of the 'black silicon' that has been much discussed, following an article in the New York Times, have said it's too early to discuss what their material's benefits might be for digital photography. The novel, doped silicon technology holds out the promise of increased sensitivity but is still in development by SiOnyx, a Harvard University spin-off.

The company holds the rights to develop and commercialize a silicon doping technology that research has suggested absorbs light (including in the infrared region of the spectrum that can be detrimental in conventional photography), more readily than conventional silicon chips. Although initially believed to be a result of the conical structure formed when lasers impregnate the surface of the silicon with sulfur compounds, the company now believes it's these compounds' effect on the electronic behavior of this surface layer that is more significant. The company's patents are not restricted to the use of Sulfur however, and cover the doping technique itself.