Taking Nature’s Cue: Storing Solar Energy In Leaves

We all know that leaves photosynthesize under sunlight and store this energy in the form of sugars.

Researchers from MIT have asked if we can do the same. Well, we are about to.

The team from MIT has managed to create an “artificial leaf” that is able to convert 16 percent of sunlight into fuel using silicon-based materials, a record. Other demonstrations had only been able to reach efficiencies of less than 4.7 percent.

There is still more work to be done, especially since splitting water into its elements of hydrogen and oxygen is a monumental task. The challenge also lies in scaling the project from simple solar cells in the lab to a working system with a large surface area that can operate in open field conditions for a long period of time.

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