Technological advance in the last couple of decades lead to the advent of many devices making our lives easier – smartphones, laptops, smartwatches and others. However, a problem that accompanied this advance throughout the years is the one about the durability of their batteries. Users are often worried that their batteries may die while they’re outdoors. All this can change thanks to some scientists from the Bristol university who have created a prototype of a “nuclear” battery that can last for thousands of years.
The prototype is made of artificial diamond which generates a small electric current when positioned in a radioactive field. This battery makes use of an isotope called nickel-63 but scientists believe that they can also employ carbon-14 (generated in graphite blocks) and thus significantly improve the power in the described device.
If carbon-14 is used, it is expected that a battery like this will endure for thousands of years, and in the year of 5730 it will have drained only 50% of its capacity.
“There are no moving parts involved, no emissions generated and no maintenance required, just direct electricity generation. By encapsulating radioactive material inside diamonds, we turn a long-term problem of nuclear waste into a nuclear-powered battery and a long-term supply of clean energy.” Tom Scott from the University’s Interface Analysis Centre.
According to him these batteries can be used for devices with low energy consumption which need a long lasting power source. For instance, pacemakers and satellites. He even jokingly adds that they could be used in the development of spacecrafts in the future.
We do not doubt that the scientists from the Bristol University could usher in a new era in the world of technology and we hope that the development of these batteries will continue without stopping in the next couple of years.