Due to the high energy density, long lifetime and easily fabricating in small scale, nuclear batteries have been becoming the promising micro-power for micro-electronic mechanical system (MEMS) power, medical application, and application in execrable ambient, such as space and polar region. Comparing to narrow bandgap semiconductors (Si, GaAs, GaP), the GaN betavoltaic battery is a new rising star of new type nuclear batteries with higher power and higher conversion efficiency.
Dr. Min Lu and his team of Nanofabrication Facility, making unremitting efforts in terms of theory and micro-processing technology, finally succeeded in developing nuclear battery prototype devices using GaN on substrates of sapphire. Employing 63Ni as the energy source, with an apparent activity of 30 μCimm-2, the batteries have an open circuit voltage of 0.1V, a conversion efficiency of 0.32%, and a charge collection efficiency of 29%. The work has been accepted for publication by the known magazine Energy Conversion and Management. The reviewer considers: This study is an Original Research, and the results are of very important significance for the low-power medical applications (such as pacemakers driving power) and micro energy applications in the unattended remote harsh environment. It is learned that this paper is the first experiment report of GaN nuclear batteries in the world.
The work has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of Science, Jiangsu Provincial Natural Science Fund, the Applied Science Foundation of Suzhou and the National Basic Research Program of China.