The solar-powered reaction should leave the device completely reusable.
For the moment, the still-unnamed device’s ability to clean chemical pollutants like lead is unknown.
Despite the potential limitation, the small rectangle of nanoflakes is a major step forward to providing everyone in water-contaminated areas with a clean source of refreshment.
“As a researcher it’s really exciting for us to see that by developing technologies you have the potential to help a lot of people,” Liu said.
The device will next be tested in real world settings before, researchers hope, being put into commercial production at a price less than $30.