Russian scientists have developed a technology that makes the creation of sources of energy on the radioactive Nickel-63 is easier and cheaper.
the Results published in the Journal of Physics: Conference Series.
Radioisotope power sources (RTGs) get energy from decay of radioactive isotopes. This “battery” can work decades without any human intervention. Therefore they are fitted with, for example, the probes sent into deep space.
One of the isotopes used in Retegan – Nickel-63. Its half-life is approximately one hundred years, making the power source is durable. Wherein the beta-radiation of this isotope that remains in the casing of the device and poses no danger to human health.
“These batteries can be used in different industries, including military and space applications. This technology is particularly relevant to medicine. Now people who wear pacemakers, as the source of energy is constantly kept at a bag-battery, which is inconvenient. A nuclear battery is able to have the size at which it can be sewed into the human body,” – said Natalia Evseevka from the Institute of chemistry and chemical technology, Krasnoyarsk scientific centre (KSC) of SB RAS.
However, to create a nuclear battery is not so easy. In addition to the high prices on the isotope of Nickel, the problem is the method of substrate – based batteries.
Known electrochemical and sputter coating methods. The first is fraught with the secondary processes, which can greatly reduce battery capacity, and the second requires complex and expensive equipment.
the Scientists of KSC SB RAS, together with colleagues from the Siberian state University of science and technology named after academician M. F. Reshetnev and the Siberian Federal University has proposed to use for the deposition of Nickel on a substrate a new method. It will make the production process of the Devices much easier, faster and cheaper.
technology is based on the heethe economic recovery of metal ions from solution. Similar reactions have long been known, but no one tried to use them to create a nuclear battery based on the isotope of Nickel.
“This method is not yet used for such purposes. But we decided to use it for testing the application emitting coatings,” says Evseevka.
moreover, as a substrate scientists have proposed to use silicon instead of conventional aluminum foil. On such material the Nickel is deposited from solution more efficient than for silicon.
in addition, foil is easy to handle. And if you need to redo poor quality samples, the aluminium can simply be dissolved in alkali. Costly isotope deposited on its surface will not be lost.
the process was quite simple. Heat-resistant beaker is poured a solution of isotope of Nickel. Small samples of foil placed in the solution and boil at a temperature about one hundred degrees. As a result, a substrate of aluminum foil is dropped the layer of recovered metals. The main advantage of this approach is that it can be performed under ordinary conditions without the use of expensive equipment.
“there were fears that with this method of coating of the electrolyte with Nickel on the substrate will move a small admixture of phosphorus. But we have shown that the addition of phosphorus does not harm the coating, but on the contrary, it hardens and does not affect the desired properties”, says Evseevka.
Explain that the researchers tested this method on non-radioactive isotopes of Nickel. The fact that the radioactive and non-radioactive atoms of the same element have the same chemical properties. For this reason, stable isotopes can be used as a safe model of Nickel-63.
“This method of coating is promising for the production of nuclear batteries that can run about a hundred years at no additional charge” – sums up Evseevka.
By the way, before “News.Science” (nauka.vesti.ru) wrote about batteries on the basis of carbon-14 extracted from nuclear waste.