Artificial Leaf Turns Water into Energy for Cheap
Researchers at MIT have created an artificial leaf that they say can generate energy 10 times more efficiently than actual plants. The tiny solar cell is also said to be made out of inexpensive materials and, with sufficient water, could power an entire house.
Dr. Daniel Nocera led a team of chemists to create a tiny solar cell that mimics and improves upon regular photosynthesis. The “leaf,” which is about the size of a credit card (and looks nothing like a leaf, apparently), takes water and separates it into oxygen and hydrogen, which can then be used as an energy source.
“A practical artificial leaf has been one of the Holy Grails of science for decades,” Nocera says in a press release. “We believe we have done it.”
Brilliantly simple idea. I’m ready to buy one right now!
And you know, when you think about it, it just makes so much sense. After all, leaves, up close, as in the photo I’ve included here, with their grid-like cell structure, even look a little like solar panels.