The artificial leaf — a silicon solar cell with different catalytic materials bonded onto its two sides — needs no external wires or control circuits to operate. Simply placed in a container of water and exposed to sunlight, it quickly begins to generate streams of bubbles: oxygen bubbles from one side and hydrogen bubbles from the other. If placed in a container that has a barrier to separate the two sides, the two streams of bubbles can be collected and stored and used later to deliver power: for example, by feeding them into a fuel cell that combines them once again into water while delivering an electric current.

Read More: https://news.mit.edu/2011/artificial-leaf-0930

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