Photosynthesis , the basic science we studied in school classes about plants. The green leaf, the kitchen prepare their food in the presence of sunlight and stored it. Do you know what actually they doing ?
Plants convert light energy in to chemical energy by organic respiration. Plants uses carbon dioxide and water in the presence of light to create oxygen and energy. The energy may in the form of sugars like carbohydrate, glucose, fructose etc.
Then what is artificial leaf ! how it relate to natural leaf and photosynthesis ?
Artificial leaf is a silicon based device which simulate the photosynthesis by live leaves. The artificial leaf also uses sun light to break hydrogen and oxygen in water, thereby produce chemical energy which is also storable.
How its works ? Even without chlorophyll how its simulates photosynthesis ?
Yes, its a silicon based device, The Silicon semiconductor setups like a thin sheet as same as natural leaves. The two ends of the sheet is bounded with two different chemical catalytic materials, which are cobalt based catalyst and layer of a nickel-molybdenum-zinc alloy. The chemical reaction will begin by generating streams of bubble on placing this in a container of water and allowed to hit direct sunlight like photosynthesis. The end with cobalt based catalyst releases the stream of oxygen bubbles and and end having layer of a nickel-molybdenum-zinc alloy releases the stream of hydrogen bubbles. On placing any barrier between the two sides of the catalytic ends, the oxygen and hydrogen bubbles can be separated, stored and stored for future use.
There is a wide scope for the artificial leaf, since the running out of fossil fuel the non renewable energy. So enlarged studies are conducting to make use the renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels.
Artificial leaf open up the door to vital invention. Recently researchers made a gas from artificial leaf instead syn-gas produced from fossil fuels and which could eventually be used to develop a sustainable liquid fuel alternative to gasoline.
In another line of research, scientists explored the principle of artificial leaf to fight climate change by inexpensively converting harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) into a useful alternative fuel.