Scientists develop next-generation semi-permanent battery

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Researchers have developed a next-generation semi-permanent battery that doesn’t need recharging.

This new technology, known as dual-site radioactive isotope dye-sensitized betavoltaic cells, was created by a team at the Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science & Technology (DGIST) in Korea.

Their findings were published in the Journal of Power Sources.

This innovative battery technology is expected to play a significant role in Korea’s future growth, particularly in industries such as space exploration, deep-sea missions, healthcare, electric vehicles, and drones.

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution rapidly advances with the Internet of Things (IoT), cyber-physical systems, and artificial intelligence (AI), the demand for better battery technology is increasing.

Current batteries have limitations, including high costs of raw materials like lithium and nickel, safety concerns due to heat generation, and limited performance in rechargeable batteries. This has sparked interest in developing next-gen batteries.

Betavoltaic cells, a promising next-gen battery technology, generate power when beta-ray electrons from radioisotopes like carbon, nickel, and hydrogen hit a semiconductor. These cells have several advantages: they can produce power independently without needing external sources or replacement, and they have a semi-permanent lifespan due to the long half-life of radioisotopes.

Additionally, beta rays, the primary energy source for these cells, are safer for humans than gamma rays and are highly stable.

However, the development of betavoltaic cells has faced challenges due to high material costs and complex manufacturing processes. To address these issues, Professor Su-il In and his team at DGIST developed a cost-effective and efficient betavoltaic cell using the N719 dye from the ruthenium (Ru) group, the radioisotope 14-citric acid (14CA), and titanium dioxide (TiO2).

The team enhanced the energy density of the cells by synthesizing citric acid into carbon isotope nanoparticles. They also added citric acid between the N719 dye and titanium dioxide to create a strong bond, resulting in high energy conversion and stability.

The performance of these new betavoltaic cells was impressive. The cells generated 658,500 times more electrons than they emitted and could produce power stably for 100 hours.

Compared to the team’s previous betavoltaic cells developed in 2020, the new cells have six times better power conversion efficiency and ten times more stability.

Professor Su-il In highlighted the significance of this research, stating, “This study is important because we have successfully developed a new type of betavoltaic cell using an inexpensive dye. We plan to conduct further research on mass production design and the commercialization of these nuclear batteries.”

This breakthrough in battery technology promises a future where long-lasting, reliable power sources are available for various applications, potentially transforming multiple industries and leading to significant advancements.

Source: KSR.