Humanity already knows how to turn light into electricity and how to create batteries without chemical reactions, but these devices have very low efficiency. Nanomaterials based on two-dimensional structures show the most promising characteristics, however they are very difficult to obtain, and scientists struggle to control their properties.
The search for catalysts of chemical reactions is a classical example of empirical science, when to discover a response it is necessary to act through an exhaustive search or, as scientists joke, through unending trial and error. Materials which have very similar properties can have completely different catalytic activity. Up until now, scientists have only been able to measure this activity.