February 2023 | Tips & Information

Nanowatt Batteries for Small Devices

Powering nanotechnology and microelectronic devices has become a primary challenge in today’s world. Especially as machines get smaller and more compact, the components that power them must also shrink. 

When dealing with miniature low-power devices, nanowatt batteries can help provide efficient power with high reliability. 

What Is a Nanowatt Battery?

Nanowatt batteries are power sources that supply electricity within the nanowatt range. These batteries can be used to power many important devices. Although they are limited in their electricity output, their applications in supporting other machines or gathering data are practically limitless. 

Nanowatts to Watts Conversion

Nanowatts are equal to 1e-9 watt—one-billionth of a watt. Modern televisions use about 60 watts when powered on and one watt in standby mode. Portable battery-powered devices do not often require as much power to operate. Even though nanowatt batteries supply only a marginal fraction of a watt, they are still used to charge some small devices.

City Labs’ Low-Power NanoTritium™ Betavoltaic Batteries

City Labs has developed betavoltaic tritium batteries to power devices in the nano-microwatt range with milliwatt burst capabilities. As the only commercially available tritium batteries in the U.S., our P100 Series NanoTritium™ Battery offers a set of features you can’t find elsewhere. Its lifespan, durability, and portability are difficult to rival.

Nanowatt Battery Benefits

Microelectronics and nanotechnology companies are using low-power batteries for many of their devices. Below are some of the advantages of using nanowatt batteries. 

Long-Term Power Sources

Betavoltaic nanowatt batteries provide consistent electrical power for more than two decades. By using tritium—which has a half-life of 12.3 years—as a power source, City Labs’ batteries slowly and steadily generate electricity from beta decay. 

Nanowatt Batteries and Sustainability

Nanowatt batteries and other low-power sources are beneficial to the environment for two main reasons: efficiency and waste management. 

The tritium in City Labs’ batteries is a form of waste from nuclear power plants. This means we are recycling the leftover radioactive materials until they have stabilized. Our nuclear nanowatt batteries both produce less waste and reduce existing waste. 

Secure and Discreet

NanoTritium™ batteries’ compact size allows them to be installed in safer or smaller locations. They can be tucked away on a computer’s motherboard or inside a pacemaker. This not only increases the potential applications of nanotechnology and microelectronic devices, but it also increases the security of information on these devices. 

Betavoltaic nanowatt batteries do not experience thermal runaway or leakage and will be more reliable over a longer time period. 

Challenges of Nanowatt Batteries

As with any technology, there are some issues still being addressed with nanowatt batteries. Their small size makes it difficult to scale up power for devices that require more electricity. 

Materials for these nanowatt batteries can be expensive and therefore more difficult to manufacture. And when working with electrochemical nanowatt batteries, reactions may occur with the air at the surface of the battery, destabilizing the power source.

City Labs NanoTritium™ battery is scalable, non-reactive with its environment, and reasonably priced.

Radioisotope Decay Nanotechnology Batteries

Betavoltaics use the kinetic energy of decaying beta particles to generate electricity. Because radioactive decay is a natural process not easily impacted by external conditions, our batteries do not lose function over a wide temperature range. They can be used in remote locations or harsh environments to power devices that cannot easily be replaced or repaired.

City Labs is always looking for scientific and commercial partners we can work with to expand upon our technology. We have multiple pre-existing design packages that may fit your company’s specific needs. Reach out to schedule an appointment as soon as possible if you think our batteries can help you achieve your goals.