TechImagine a phone that charges every 50 years. Beijing firm on the brink of an atomic battery breakthrough

Imagine a phone that charges every 50 years. Beijing firm on the brink of an atomic battery breakthrough

Charging the phone
Charging the phone
Images source: © Adobe Stock

9:56 AM EST, January 12, 2024

Betavolt Technology is developing a miniature atomic battery known as a betavoltaic battery. According to company representatives, such batteries could be utilized across various devices like phones and tablets. Their claim centers around the idea that this battery could power a device for up to 50 years without recharging.

An Atomic Battery for Phones

The initial model, named BV100, is a 3V battery that is smaller than a coin. Measuring 0.59 x 0.59 x 0.20 inches, it delivers 100 microwatts of energy from the radioactive decay of a specific nickel isotope. This approach is touted as a safe solution, which is free from radiation and avoids generating toxic chemicals.

Betavolt's projections suggest that by 2025, they will produce batteries with a power of 1 watt. They further suggest that these batteries could be connected in series to achieve greater power, meeting the demands of modern devices. A prototype has already been created and is slated for mass production, as reported by Android Central.

Is a Phone with an Atomic Battery Safe?

While the miniaturization of atomic energy is hardly a novel concept, it has never been practically incorporated into consumer electronics due to the risks associated with using radioactive elements, such as plutonium. However, experts at Betavolt maintain that their solution is completely safe. This safety measure is achieved using a decaying nickel isotope in tandem with a diamond semiconductor, a configuration that gradually transforms nickel-63 into copper.

This layered configuration also ensures that the battery cannot ignite or explode and can withstand temperatures ranging from -76 to 248 degrees Fahrenheit. These claims suggest a significant performance improvement over traditional batteries.

Construction of a nuclear battery
Construction of a nuclear battery© Betavolt Technology
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