TechChinese firm innovates 50-year atomic battery, paving the way for a charge-free future

Chinese firm innovates 50‑year atomic battery, paving the way for a charge-free future

A smartphone with an atomic battery will practically not require charging.
A smartphone with an atomic battery will practically not require charging.
Images source: © Pixabay
5:45 AM EST, January 19, 2024

Betavolt Technology, a firm based in China's capital, is investing in developing a compact atomic battery. The company's primary focus lies within the concept of betavoltaic technology. The battery employs a semiconductor chip that functions as an electrode. Specified radioactive radiation of an element generates hole-electron pairs on this chip, subsequently creating an electromotive force.

While the idea of such a battery isn't particularly new, no company has implemented it in everyday devices up until now. Because of their potential health hazards, the use of elements such as tritium or plutonium has impeded the process. Nevertheless, experts from China argue they have solved these obstacles.

Is the Chinese atomic battery signalling a new era in technology?

Betavolt Technology has showcased the BV100 battery model, measuring 0.59 x 0.59 x 0.2 inches. This battery boasts a power capacity of 100 microwatts and a voltage of 3 volts. A diamond semiconductor constitutes one of the core elements in its design, and a nickel isotope handles the process of radioactive decay, gradually metamorphosing into copper.

The Chinese specialists ensure that the process is entirely safe. It neither generates harmful radiation nor does it produce toxic substances. The battery also features a multi-layer design, specifically amended to prevent ignition or explosion. Furthermore, the battery is resistant to extreme temperatures, capable of withstanding temperatures ranging from -76 to 248 degrees Fahrenheit.

The battery's ability to transform nickel-63 into copper over an extensive period means that the battery can stay charged for up to 50 years. Although the current version is insufficient to power a phone, theoretically, it's conceivable to construct a version that would eliminate the need for charging during the product's lifespan.

Emphasizing "Betavolt Technology's ambitious plans", the company envisions creating batteries with a power of 1 W by 2025. Representatives from Betavolt Technology believe that connecting these batteries in a series could enable more modern devices to be powered. While a prototype is ready and awaits mass production, a specific launch date is yet to be set.

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