Hyunwook Hwangbo


1 A Study on Evaluation for Performance Verification of Ni-63 Radioisotope Betavoltaic Battery

Authors: Sungho Lee, Bosung Kim, Youngmok Yun, Kyeongsu Jeon, Hyunwook Hwangbo, Byounggun Choi


A betavoltaic battery converts nuclear energy released as beta particles (β-) directly into electrical energy. Betavoltaic cells are analogous to photovoltaic cells. The beta particle’s kinetic energy enters a p-n junction and creates electron-hole pairs. Subsequently, the built-in potential of the p-n junction accelerates the electrons and ions to their respective collectors. The major challenges are electrical conversion efficiencies and exact evaluation. In this study, the performance of betavoltaic battery was evaluated. The betavoltaic cell was evaluated in the same condition as radiation from radioactive isotope using by FE-SEM(field emission scanning electron microscope). The average energy of the radiation emitted from the Ni-63 radioisotope is 17.42 keV. FE-SEM is capable of emitting an electron beam of 1-30keV. Therefore, it is possible to evaluate betavoltaic cell without radioactive isotopes. The betavoltaic battery consists of radioisotope that is physically connected on the surface of Si-based PN diode. The performance of betavoltaic battery can be estimated by the efficiency of PN diode unit cell. The current generated by scanning electron microscope with fixed accelerating voltage (17keV) was measured by using faraday cup. Electrical characterization of the p-n junction diode was performed by using Nano Probe Work Station and I-V measurement system. The output value of the betavoltaic cells developed by this research team was 0.162 μw/cm2 and the efficiency was 1.14%.

Keywords: Nuclear, Battery, betavoltaic, Ni-63, radio-isotope

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