China has created an atomic battery that lasts 50 years and opens the door to mobile phones that never charge

inui portable battery
inui portable battery

Thanks to the decomposition of nickel-63 and a diamond semiconductor, energy is obtained for more than 50 years


Do you remember graphene batteries? They are not among us yet, but a few years ago it seemed that graphene would be the messiah of our devices. Yes batteries that charge in five seconds or news of Samsung and Huawei investigating batteries with double the capacity thanks to this material.

The truth is that graphene is not yet among us in a massive way, but new solutions for the battery are already beginning to be investigated. Specifically, an atomic battery that would (almost) never have to be charged and is ready for the consumer market.

The first atomic battery on the consumer market

Currently, batteries have improved their capacity compared to what was seen a few years ago. It has not been thanks to graphene, but to a new arrangement of the internal components, which companies have managed to double their capacity. In addition to increasing capacity, the industry has focused on increasingly faster charging, both wired and wireless.

However, the essential technology remains the same and we have not seen that big change that would allow us to have more efficient batteries in our mobile phones and atomic energy may eat graphene’s toast.

And the Chinese company Betavolt Technology just announced who have managed to successfully develop a battery that works thanks to atomic energy. And no, it is not huge in size, but dimensions of 15 x 15 x 5 millimeters. Imagine the key of a computer, well, more or less with that base, but much thinner.

The energy is produced thanks to the natural decay of a radioactive isotope, nickel-63. This iosotope has a half-life of about 100 years. and, during that time, it is producing energy.

Since it is such a slow process, Its creators claim that it is completely safe by not triggering a violent reaction and, to make the battery more sophisticated, the stabilizer is a diamond layer.

In fact, in this image we can see the structure of this battery, with an external layer, a contact system on one of its sides and an interior made up of alternating layers of nickel-63 and the diamond semiconductor. This semiconductor also allows the system to operate stably at temperatures between +60 and 120 degrees Celsius.

Betavolt has designed this atomic battery to last about 50 years without power or more stimulation than that which occurs naturally within the system thanks to the half-decay of the isotope. The problem is that the amount of energy it produces is… minimal.

Right now, the BV100 (which is what the invention is called) delivers an energy of 100 microwatts at 3 volts. It is low energy, but several of these batteries can be used seriously or in parallel to power devices such as drones, medical devices such as pacemakers, cochlear implants or smart sensors.

Now, those responsible They are already working on a version capable of delivering a power of 1 watt, as well as other similar batteries that use isotopes such as strontium 90, deuterium and promethium-147. With several in series and increasing power, it would not be unreasonable to think that these atomic batteries could be inside our mobile phones in the future. Now, they would not be a cheap component at all.

Cover image | Betavolt

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Mubashir Hassan
Expert in tech and gaming, blending industry insights with expertise