Betavoltaic Indirect Conversion Radioisotope (BICOR)Battery: A Long-life Power Generator and Harvester for Defense, Aerospace, Medical, Counter-terrorism, Bio-technology & Medicine

U. Ortabasi
United Innovations, Inc., US

Keywords: power generator and harvester, betavoltaic isotope battery, long life, reliable, safe

Summary:

Federal Government, Military and Commercial markets need safe and reliable, long lived, high energy density, miniature batteries to power the growing number of micro-electromechanical devices. The objective of this initiative is to develop a novel miniature Betavoltaic battery to address these needs. The major advantages of Isotope Batteries are the long half-lives of the isotopes and the high energy densities. Thus, very light weight and compact battery packs with a useful life of 100 years or more can be built. Present paper involves an Indirect Betavoltaic device where the beta-active nuclei are embedded and uniformly dispersed in a radiation-resistant glass slab (wave-guide).The glass also contains luminescent centers. Following the beta-decay the beta particles interact with the luminescent centers and cause isotropic emission of photons with a characteristic spectrum. The fraction of photons that propagate outside the critical angle are guided by total reflection towards the edge of the slab that is optically coupled to a photovoltaic cell which converts a certain fraction of photons into photo-current. The spectral response of the PV is matched to the luminescent spectrum emanating from the wave guide for high efficiency. The system is safe as the radio-activity is trapped inside the glass.