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


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.