Silicon is in every piece of electronic equipment we own. However, when Harvard physicist Eric Mazur discovered black silicon, the substance was found to be a whole lot more sensitive to light, which could spell serious improvements in consumer electronics and more.
Black silicon was discovered in the late 1990's after a laser was shone on a silicon wafer that had sulfur hexafluoride on it. Once examined under an electron microscope, the wafer, which appeared black, had microscopic spikes all over it. This later proved to show an increased sensitivity to light. In fact, a "100 to 500 times increase in sensitivity to light compared to conventional silicon detectors," was found and the technology is now being implemented in night vision systems.