A Chinese company claims to be the first to have developed a miniature nuclear battery that requires no recharging and, when inserted in a smartphone, could give it almost infinite autonomy, without being radioactive.

Smartphones of the future may never need recharging, thanks to a revolutionary nuclear battery technology. It’s not going to happen any time soon, of course, but Chinese company Betavolt Technology is seriously exploring the possibility by developing miniature nuclear batteries for a variety of devices, inspired by pacemakers and long-life space components.

Beijing-based Betavolt Technology began the year by reporting a significant advance in the miniaturization of atomic energy batteries. Its BV100 model, measuring a tiny 15 x 15 x 5 mm, is capable of generating 100 microwatts of electricity. Based on the disintegration of the nickel isotope 63, the start-up offers a module smaller than a coin.

While nuclear technology used to be risky because of radioactive materials such as plutonium, Betavolt takes a safer approach. By using a diamond semiconductor and a decomposing nickel isotope, the company attests to the absence of radiation or toxic chemicals.

The battery presents no risk of ignition or explosion, even in extreme conditions from -60°C to 120°C. Above all, it is not affected by any loss of performance, and production costs remain low.

A battery with half a century of autonomy

Betavolt is planning to produce nuclear batteries for smartphones that can be charged indefinitely (a 50-year lifespan has been suggested), eliminating the need for frequent recharging. These small batteries can be assembled in series to increase power.

The nuclear battery prototype is ready for mass production, having successfully passed the pilot stage. Betavolt is now aiming to create small, one-watt batteries by 2025. These nuclear batteries could become indispensable in multiple fields and sectors such as aerospace, AI equipment, medical devices, drones, sensors, and micro-robots.

As for commercialization to the consumer market, despite the prototype’s readiness, Betavolt does not yet have a precise timetable to share with us. However, this breakthrough promises to redefine power supply standards.

Source : Independent