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The Artificial Leaf

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Lewis Lectures 2012

It has been said for an ideal solar fuels process that the system requirements are:

• Earth-abundant materials • No wires • Direct solar-to fuels process.

We now describe two earth abundant catalysts that promote the oxygen evolving reaction (OER) and hydrogen evolving reaction (HER) with a solar AM 1 .5 (1 sun) input mediated by an earth abundant silicon wafer, and all of this is done with no wires. The system captures many of the elements of photosynthesis and it is indeed functionally an artificial leaf. But the system surpasses the prescription from the community. It also does not rely on a membrane and it operates under very simple conditions, thus obviating complicated engineering requirements. The science behind the artificial leaf will be presented.

This talk is part of the Materials Chemistry Research Interest Group series.

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