Betavolt: Revolutionary Battery That Lasts 50 Years Developed by China

Betavolt is a Chinese startup company that has developed a miniature nuclear battery that can generate electricity for 50 years without charging or maintenance. The battery uses a radioactive isotope of nickel, nickel-63, as its energy source. When nickel-63 decays, it emits beta particles, which are electrons. These electrons are then converted into electricity by a diamond semiconductor.

The Betavolt battery is about the size of a coin. It produces a voltage of 3 volts and a power output of 100 microwatts. This is enough power to run small devices such as sensors, medical implants, and satellites.

Betavolt is still in the early stages of development, but the company has ambitious plans for the future. It hopes to scale up production of the battery and make it available for commercial use in a variety of applications.

Potential Benefits of Betavolt Batteries

  • Long-lasting power: Betavolt batteries can provide power for 50 years without charging or maintenance. This makes them ideal for applications where long-term power is critical, such as space exploration, medical implants, and remote sensors.
  • Low maintenance: Betavolt batteries require no maintenance or replacement. This can save businesses and organizations money in the long run.
  • Small size: Betavolt batteries are small and lightweight. This makes them easy to integrate into a variety of devices.

Potential Drawbacks to Betavolt Batteries

  • Radioactive waste: Betavolt batteries contain radioactive material. This waste must be disposed of safely.
  • Cost: Betavolt batteries are still in the early stages of development, so they are likely to be more expensive than traditional batteries.

Overall, Betavolt batteries have the potential to revolutionize the way we power our devices. They offer a long-lasting, low-maintenance, and compact source of power that could be used in a wide range of applications.

What’s It Made Of?

Betavolt’s miniaturized nuclear battery works through a process called betavoltaics, harnessing the energy within the radioactive isotope nickel-63:

1. Nickel-63 Decay: Inside the battery, a thin sheet of nickel-63 undergoes a natural process called “beta decay.” During this process, the unstable nickel-63 atoms spontaneously transform into stable copper-63 atoms, releasing beta particles (high-energy electrons) in the process.

2. Electron Conversion: These beta particles, zipping through the battery, create electron-hole pairs within a specially designed diamond semiconductor layer. This layer is incredibly thin, about 10 microns thick, allowing for efficient interaction with the particles.

3. Electricity Generation: The electron-hole pairs generated act like charged particles within the semiconductor, creating a flow of electric current. This current is then channeled and harnessed for external use.

4. Key Points:

  • The diamond semiconductor is crucial because it can withstand the high-energy beta particles and efficiently convert their energy into usable electricity.
  • The entire process happens on a microscopic level, allowing for a compact battery size.
  • The nickel-63 decay is gradual and controlled, ensuring a stable and long-lasting power output for 50 years.

Additional Details

  • The current Betavolt prototype generates 100 microwatts of power, suitable for smaller devices. They aim to increase this to 1 watt by 2025, powering larger devices.
  • The nickel-63 used in the battery decays into a stable non-radioactive isotope of copper, minimizing environmental concerns.
  • While safe, regulations and handling for radioactive materials still need careful consideration.

Betavoltaics represents an exciting new innovation in battery technology, with the potential to revolutionize long-term power solutions for various applications.


While the Betavolt miniaturized nuclear battery presents a groundbreaking technology, the exact timeline for its commercial availability remains slightly hazy. Here’s what we know:

Current Stage:

  • The technology is still in its early stages of development, having been announced in January 2024.
  • The current prototype produces 100 microwatts of power, which is enough for small devices like sensors and medical implants, but not for larger applications.
  • Betavolt aims to ramp up production and increase the power output to 1 watt by 2025, which would significantly expand its potential applications.

Commercial Availability:

  • Betavolt hasn’t publicly announced a specific date for commercial availability.
  • Experts generally estimate it could take several years for the technology to mature and navigate necessary regulatory approvals before widespread commercialization.
  • Factors like safety testing, scaling up production, and establishing supply chains play a significant role in determining the timeline.

Possible Scenarios:

  • Some optimistic speculations suggest limited commercial availability by 2026 or 2027, potentially targeting niche applications requiring long-lasting and low-maintenance power.
  • More conservative estimates anticipate wider commercialization closer to 2028 or even later, depending on the pace of development and regulatory hurdles.

It’s important to remember that this is a rapidly evolving field, and unforeseen breakthroughs or challenges could alter the timeline significantly.


Predicting the exact pricing of Betavolt’s miniature nuclear batteries at this early stage is challenging due to several factors:

  • Development Stage: The technology is still under development, and the final production costs won’t be clear until they scale up and finalize the manufacturing process.
  • Power Output: Betavolt aims to increase the power output from the current 100 microwatts to 1 watt by 2025, and the price is likely to vary based on the power capacity.
  • Market Factors: Competition and overall demand for this novel technology will also influence the final pricing.
  • Regulatory Approvals: The stringent regulations surrounding radioactive materials may add additional costs, impacting the final price to consumers.

However, we can still consider some potential scenarios:

  • Early Adopters: For niche applications needing the unique benefits of the Betavolt battery (long life, low maintenance), even higher prices might be acceptable, particularly in the initial years of limited availability.
  • Wider Commercialization: Once production scales up and power output increases, the price per unit will likely decrease, making it more competitive with conventional batteries for specific applications.
  • Estimates: Some experts speculate the initial price for low-power versions could be in the range of hundreds of dollars per battery, decreasing as production scales and technology matures.

However, it’s important to remember these are just educated guesses, and the actual pricing might be higher or lower.

Also Read: Toyota’s Breakthrough: Revolutionizing Battery Technology

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