Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Or to be more exact, it's made of silicon, electronics and inexpensive synthetic materials.  What does it do?  Why the same thing a regular leaf does-- splitting water molecules into its component oxygen and hydrogen atoms, generating electricity.  Introducing MIT Professor Daniel Nocera's leaf solar cell:

"Nocera's leaf is stable -- operating continuously for at least 45 hours without a drop in activity in preliminary tests -- and made of widely available, inexpensive materials -- like  silicon, electronics and chemical catalysts. It's also powerful, as much as ten times more efficient at carrying out photosynthesis than a natural leaf.

With a single gallon of water, Nocera says, the chip could produce enough electricity to power a house in a developing country for an entire day. Provide every house on the planet with an artificial leaf and we could satisfy our 14 terrawatt need with just one gallon of water a day."

FUCKING RAD.  Goes to show-- even in the synthetic world of manufacturing power sources, the best way to do it is to mimic what nature has been researching for billions of years. 


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