Betavoltaic Device Market: Introduction
- Betavoltaic devices are self-contained electric power sources that produce electric current from decaying of radioactive isotopes. When radioactive isotopes decay, they emit high-energy beta (β) particles, which are used to produce electricity in betavoltaic devices. These devices generate power from atomic energy. However, unlike nuclear reactors, they do not have any chain reaction of radioactive source.
- A betavoltaic device comprises a layer of a beta-emitting radioactive isotope and a p–n junction semiconductor that is placed adjacent to the isotope. The beta-emitting radioactive isotope acts as a source of ionizing radiation, which bombards the p–n junction semiconductor with beta particles. This bombardment results in the generation of electron-hole pairs in the semiconductor material.
- Electron-hole pairs generated drift apart toward n-side and p-side respectively, due to influence of the built-in electric field. This results in forward biasing of p–n junction and flowing of the current to the external connected load. These devices are considered highly safe, as the beta particles emitted have comparatively low energy and they can be restrained with proper insulation of few millimeters.
- As the time passes and the radioactive isotope discharges, its half-life decreases. However, this happens over a long period of time and it generally depends on the type of isotope used for power generation. Betavoltaic devices are also viewed as a nuclear version of solar cells, which uses sun as its source to produce electricity. These devices are highly suitable for use in applications that require low and long-duration power supply for around 15 - 20 years.
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Key Drivers of Global Betavoltaic Device Market
- Rise in the demand for electronics across the globe is expected to drive the global betavoltaic device market during the forecast period. Demand for portable electronics devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops is rising at a record rate. This is also driving the demand for batteries across the globe. Betavoltaic devices can be used to trickle-charge the existing batteries in these portable electronics devices, as they provide continuous supply of power for a long period of time.
- Advantages offered by betavoltaic devices over conventional batteries are also expected to boost the demand for these devices during the forecast period. These devices have lifespan of about 15–20 years on an average, while conventional batteries usually have lifespan of around two years. Betavoltaic devices can withstand extreme temperatures and they are operational over a temperature range of −50°C to 150°C. On the other hand, the performance of conventional batteries degrades under extreme conditions.
- Betavoltaic devices are resistant to corrosion and they have environmentally and thermally stable life. On the other hand, lifespan of conventional batteries can vary depending on the temperature and presence of corrosive and humid environment. Unlike conventional batteries, betavoltaic devices do not produce heat during operation. They are used in several sectors such as aerospace, military, health care, electronics, and communication.
Key Developments in Global Betavoltaic Device Market
- In May 2016, scientists at the NUST (National University of Science and Technology) MISIS in Russia, developed a betavoltaic battery prototype, which is a maintenance-free and non-rechargeable nuclear battery with around 100 years of useful service life. The source of beta rays in these prototypes is a radioactive isotope called Ni-63 (nickel-63), which is a clean as well as mild beta radiator. After fully decaying, the isotope transforms into a stable copper isotope.
- In June 2012, City Labs, Inc. had released a tritium-based betavoltaic device as the company’s first commercial product. The product is the source of power for low-power sensor and microelectronic applications, especially in cases wherein battery replacement is either hard, or unfeasible, or destructive.
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North America Likely to Dominate Global Betavoltaic Device Market
- North America is expected to hold a major share of the global betavoltaic device market during the forecast period. Growth of the market in the region is primarily attributable to high investments and rise in the development of betavoltaic devices in the region, especially in the U.S. The country is anticipated to hold a major share of the North America market during the forecast period.
- Europe and Asia Pacific are likely to follow North America in the betavoltaic device market. The technology is not as widely available in these regions as in North America.
- However, Latin America and Middle East & Africa held minimal shares of the global betavoltaic device market in 2018. The technology is still at a conceptual stage in these regions and has not much penetrated these regions.
Key Players Operating in Global Market
Some of the key players operating in the global betavoltaic device market include:
- City Labs, Inc.
- BetaBatt, Inc.
- Qynergy Corp
- NUST MISIS
Global Betavoltaic Device Market: Research Scope
Global Betavoltaic Device Market, by Type
- Others (Including Nickel-based)
Global Betavoltaic Device Market, by End-user Industry
- Electronics & Communication
- Others (Including Healthcare)
Global Betavoltaic Device Market, by Region
- North America
- Russia & CIS
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Latin America
- Rest of Latin America
- Middle East & Africa
- South Africa
- Rest of Middle East & Africa
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