MAR 19, 2019 12:51 PM PDT

Will Diamond Nuclear Batteries Power the Devices of the Future?

It’s no secret that modern-day batteries suck; Not only do they necessitate frequent recharging, but some variations, including lithium-ion, have been known to introduce hazards like spontaneous combustion.

Scientists have been trying to develop the perfect battery for decades, and while there’ve been a lot of exciting breakthroughs in just the last several years alone, one idea that has been tossed around is the idea of using betavoltaics, which is essentially the practice of extracting an electric charge from a beta particle-emitting radioactive material.

Nuclear batteries exist already in many of NASA’s spacecraft and interplanetary rovers, but these batteries use the heat from said radioactive materials to generate power rather than the beta particles themselves. The latter is commonly thought to be a safer method, albeit not as energizing as the thermal technique.

In a breakthrough development, however, researchers have managed to process the relatively-safe carbon-14 isotope into what one might describe as a ‘diamond nuclear battery.’ In other words, they’ve developed a diamond that can produce an electric charge, and while it isn’t much, it just might be enough to power individual devices, such as smoke detectors, engine sensors, IoT devices, and hearing aids/other implantable sensors.

The scientists behind the development say that it could power these devices for decades without needing to be replaced or recharged and that it would be completely safe because the diamond structure around it absorbs the radiation. That said, could this be a viable path toward making batteries better?

It should be interesting to see if the concept ever takes off, and more importantly, whether it can be perfected for more uses outside of low-energy requirements.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
FEB 25, 2019
Space & Astronomy
FEB 25, 2019
NASA Resets Curiosity Rover Following Unexpected Safe Mode Hiccup
Following several months’ worth of failed attempts to reestablish a communication line with the Martian Opportunity rover, NASA officially terminated...
MAR 03, 2019
Space & Astronomy
MAR 03, 2019
SpaceX's Dragon Capsule is Now Docked At the International Space Station
Just as expected, SpaceX moved forward with a momentous end-to-end demonstration launch for NASA on Saturday, verifying once and for all that the Falcon 9...
MAR 06, 2019
Space & Astronomy
MAR 06, 2019
Heat Probe On NASA's InSight Lander Halts Digging Amid Unexpected Obstacle
NASA’s InSight mission touched down on the Martian surface just over three months ago, and as you might come to expect, the lander has been somewhat...
MAR 24, 2019
Space & Astronomy
MAR 24, 2019
Planetary Scientists Want to Explore Venus Again
Space agencies from around the globe have sent a plethora of spacecraft to Venus over the past several decades in an attempt to better understand one of ou...
MAR 25, 2019
Technology
MAR 25, 2019
New Microneedle Technology for Medical Treatments
Recent innovation at Cardiff University has pioneered microneedle technology that could end certain types of injections. In collaboration with scientists a...
APR 07, 2019
Space & Astronomy
APR 07, 2019
NASA Test-Fires the Last of its Leftover RS-25 Engines for the Upcoming SLS Rocket
NASA acknowledged just under three weeks ago that it was having trouble meeting the stringent development deadlines for its Space Launch System (SLS) rocke...
Loading Comments...