A Look at MIT’s “Artificial Leaf”

Well, when we first heard about this breakthrough from MIT, it was March. Now after several months, yesterday’s Science edition has described the technology of this device, that’s known as Artificial Leaf. This leaf will produce pure Oxygen and Hydrogen and will be powered by sunlight just like any other leaf.

MIT's Artificial Leaf

I’ve used the word “device”above, but its not just a device. Its much more than that. This leaf also doesn’t has a set shape or size.According to Science,

There are no moving parts and no set shape or size of this leaf. The leaf is just a semiconducting silicon, coated on one side with a special cobalt catalyst, and on the other with a nickel-molybdenum-zinc alloy. Sunlight creates a current within the silicon, and the catalyst causes water molecules to split into gaseous Hand Owhich rise off in bubbles from opposite sides of the leaf.

The gases can be stored in a fuel cell, which can provide power later and produce pure water as its exhaust. Nocera and many other researchers formed a company, named as Sun Catalytix, to independently research, apply, and market Artificial Leaf. The company last year raised $9.5 million from Tata and some other investors.

There’s more information about this topic at MIT’s news page and if you’re scientifically minded, then you can also check out various papers listed on Sun Catalytix’s tech page.

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