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High efficiency β radioisotope energy conversion using reciprocating electromechanical converters with integrated betavoltaics

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3 Author(s)
Duggirala, Rajesh ; SonicMEMS Laboratory, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA ; Li, Hui ; Lal, A.

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We demonstrate a 5.1% energy conversion efficiency 63Ni radioisotope power generator by integrating silicon betavoltaic converters with radioisotope actuated reciprocating piezoelectric unimorph cantilever converters. The electromechanical energy converter efficiently utilizes both the kinetic energy and the electrical charge of the 0.94 μW β radiation from a 9 mCi 63Ni thin film source to generate maximum (1) continuous betavoltaic electrical power output of 22 nW and (2) pulsed piezoelectric electrical power output of 750 μW at 0.07% duty cycle. The electromechanical converters can be potentially used to realize 100 year lifetime power sources for powering periodic sampling remote wireless sensor microsystems.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:92 ,  Issue: 15 )