In a monumental leap in technological innovation, Chinese startup Betavolt has introduced a pioneering nuclear battery capable of sustaining smartphones for an astounding 50 years without the need for recharging. This miniaturized atomic energy system, heralded as the world's first, encapsulates 63 nuclear isotopes within a module smaller than a coin.
Betavolt's groundbreaking technology harnesses the energy released by decaying isotopes, a concept first explored in the 20th century and now realized in their revolutionary product. The startup has commenced pilot testing and is gearing up for mass production, envisioning applications in commercial sectors such as aerospace, AI equipment, medical devices, microprocessors, advanced sensors, small drones, and micro-robots. They anticipate that this energy breakthrough will position China at the forefront of the AI technology era.
The initial nuclear battery, measuring a mere 15x15x5 cubic millimeters, delivers 100 microwatts of power with a voltage of 3V. Betavolt aims to produce a 1-watt power battery by 2025. The compact size enables the connection of multiple units, amplifying the power output and fostering a future where mobile phones operate endlessly without charging, and drones achieve indefinite flight.
Safety is a paramount consideration in the design, as Betavolt assures that the layered structure prevents the battery from catching fire or exploding under sudden force. Operating within a wide temperature range from -60 to 120 degrees Celsius, the battery's secure design further ensures its reliability.
To create this innovative battery, Betavolt's scientists utilized nickel-63, a radioactive element, as the energy source, employing diamond semiconductors for energy conversion. The thin single-crystal diamond semiconductor, a mere 10 microns thick, hosts a 2-micron-thick nickel-63 sheet between two diamond semiconductor converters, converting decay energy into electrical current.
Addressing radiation concerns, Betavolt emphasizes the safety of their battery, asserting no external radiation. They assert its suitability for medical devices within the human body, such as pacemakers and cochlear implants, with the isotopes transforming into a stable, non-radioactive copper isotope after the decay period, posing no environmental threat.
Named the BV100, Betavolt's nuclear battery outshines conventional counterparts in security, remaining stable even when punctured or exposed to high temperatures, avoiding the risks of fire or explosion.
The development of miniaturized nuclear batteries aligns with global scientific goals. While the Soviet Union and the United States previously explored this technology for space, underwater systems, and remote stations, Betavolt's achievement stands out for its size, safety, and commercial potential. With ongoing efforts in the US and Europe, this breakthrough technology promises to transform electronic devices, enabling continuous operation without the need for charging. Picture a future where drones soar endlessly, phones never require charging, and electric cars redefine the norms of recharging. Betavolt's nuclear battery opens the door to a limitless power supply, revolutionizing our electronic landscape.
—Input from Agencies