City Labs is shaping the future of microelectronics with our innovative battery technology.
City Labs’ NanoTritium™ technology employs principles of betavoltaic conversion and radioactive beta decay to build long-term batteries for low-power devices. Our tritium batteries last more than twice as long as traditional electrochemical batteries and output continuous electrical power throughout their lifespan.
Tritium batteries generate an electric charge from the decay of a hydrogen isotope. That isotope—tritium—has a half-life of 12.32 years. After 20 years, a tritium battery can still output power at approximately 33% of its original value.
This makes tritium batteries a sustainable alternative to traditional batteries that rely on volatile chemical reactions to create a charge. Here at City Labs, we have worked to develop a betavoltaic power source that addresses issues with electrochemical cells and reaches well beyond them into applications in extreme or remote environments.
The NanoTritium™ betavoltaic power source provides a source of continuous power for 20 years or more in microelectronic platforms. Applications of NanoTritium™ batteries include environmental pressure/temperature sensors, intelligence sensors, medical implants, trickle charging lithium batteries, semi-passive and active RFIDs (radio frequency identification), silicon clocks, SRAM memory backup, deep-sea oil well sensors, and lower power processors (e.g., ASICs, FPGAs, microcontroller units, etc.).
|Time(yrs)||Percentage of Initial Power|
|P100 SERIES||P200 SERIES (In development)|
|Open Circuit Voltage||Short Circuit Current*||Open Circuit Voltage||Short Circuit Current*|
|50-350 nanoamps||0.8 Volts
|Temperature Range:||-40ºC to +80ºC|
|External Pressure:||3.6psi (0.245 atm) to 14.7 psi (1.0 atm)|
|Vibration:||25 Hz to 500 Hz at 5g Peak Amplitude|
|P100 a,b,c||0.01 – 20 curies|
|P200 a,b (in development)||≤ 100 curies|
View specific product configurations for:
Our current NanoTritium™ battery can power both nanowatt and microwatt devices. Small changes and customizations allow us to cater the P100 series battery to a variety of different applications.
Our nanowatt cells are delivered in our standard 28-pin package. We are designing a smaller package for release in 2023 that will include more compact designs for use in smaller devices that may need to travel or fit in tight spaces. Examples of these smaller nanowatt applications will include batteries for wearable devices, sensors on circuit boards, etc.Learn More
Our microwatt batteries are capable of charging a variety of microelectronics, including semiconductor electronics, power sensors, encryption keys, and pacemakers. They can be modified to meet the specific needs of your device.Learn More
City Labs will keep you informed on everything you need to know about tritium batteries and the current state of alternative nuclear power source technology.
Tritium batteries typically supply power in the nanowatt to microwatt range and can be extended to milliwatts. They are designed to power low-power electronics over long periods of time.
Tritium releases beta particles, which are very weak compared to other forms of radiation. This radioactive decay can be entirely blocked by sheets of metal that are only a tiny fraction of the thickness of a penny. Coating tritium batteries is easy, cost-effective, and makes them safe for commercial and practical uses.
Tritium has a half-life of 12.32 years, meaning half his amount about every 12 years. Depending on the required power necessary for a device, our tritium batteries can function successfully for more than 20 years.
Unlike electrochemical batteries, betavoltaic tritium batteries do not sustain permanent damage from extreme temperatures. If one of our batteries is heated to high temperatures, its voltage goes down in a predictable manner. Similarly, the voltage of the battery goes up as the temperature goes down. Once the battery returns to its original state, however, it will output with the same voltage as it did originally.
Betavoltaics and nuclear batteries are not widely available to individual consumers. Most of these power sources are still being developed and improved upon. However, some companies—such as City Labs—offer betavoltaic power cells for commercial or scientific use.
The current applications for nuclear batteries are limited. The average person has no reason to buy our products. We typically deal with businesses and/or scientific organizations interested in long-term partnerships that evolve their technology.
Tritium batteries are a long-term investment, so contact City Labs for a specific price on our packages. Base price starts at $5,250 per battery; however, discounts are provided for bulk orders, and customizations may cost extra.
One of the reasons tritium batteries are so environmentally-friendly is they eventually decay to helium-3, a stable non-radioactive isotope. Tritium itself is a byproduct of nuclear reactors. When it is harnessed in a betavoltaic cell, its entire lifespan will be spent powering a low-power device. Once it has fully decayed, it will return to a stable state.
Due to the potential of any residual radioactivity, you should send tritium batteries to a proper facility for disposal.
The complex nature of radioactive materials makes them difficult to recycle without the help of a specialist. If tritium has not reached the end of its useful life, it may be able to be repurposed in another device.
If it has already stabilized—or decayed to the point where it’s no longer useful—it should be sent to a radioactive material disposal facility.
Tritium batteries are by no means the only type of nuclear energy in today’s market. There are multiple companies researching and developing their technologies to improve existing power sources.
Many of these innovations, however, do not target the same demographic. Some are for large-scale consistent power generation, while others are meant to be portable and independent. Below is a brief summary of where tritium batteries and other nuclear power sources fit into the mix.
Fusion reactors are large machines that aim to capture energy from nuclear fusion reactions. Theoretically, this energy could provide massive amounts of power in a sustainable manner. In practice, however, fusion may still be decades away from commercialization.
Nuclear reactors generate electricity from radioactive chemical reactions and often require more than one square mile to function. Microreactors, as the name suggests, are smaller models of nuclear reactors that output a fraction of the power—less than 50 megawatts compared to 1,000 megawatts. Microreactors are small enough to transport by truck and address the needs of individual facilities that are independent of power grids.
The near future holds incredible potential for portable nuclear power and fusion reactors.
In a world where entire cities can run on nuclear power, low-power microelectronic batteries will still be a necessity.
Optoelectronic devices deal with the detection and control of light, often to make power for other devices or machines through the use of photovoltaic principles. Photovoltaic principles involve routing the sun’s radiation through semiconductor junctions to produce electrical energy (e.g., solar energy).
While photovoltaics are an effective and sustainable alternative power source, they are heavily reliant on the surrounding environment. This method of conversion cannot be used in locations where the sun’s rays do not reach. In the depths of the ocean, underground, inside machines, and in less sunny regions, the reliability of betavoltaic batteries is unmatched.
The nuclear diamond battery is one of the most similar to the tritium battery, but it is the farthest from practical application.
Scientists from England’s University of Bristol built a manmade battery that can generate a small charge from radioactive material. One of the more popular ideas is to use Carbon-14 as a power source, which has a half-life of 5,730 years. Though these cells would likely provide less power than a AA battery, they could help repurpose nuclear waste across the world and provide a long-term low-power battery.
The diamond battery is still a long way down the road to actual utilization. Even if all is successful, we don’t know how much it will cost or how customizable it will be. Tritium batteries are here—and they are reliable, accessible, and adaptable to a variety of applications.
As we continue to develop our technology, we remain open to both scientific and commercial partnerships. Whether you require a specific, customized solution to your low-power electronic battery issues or you believe our existing product can enable your platform, contact us today. You can set up an appointment with our team to learn more about how our NanoTritium™ batteries can benefit your application.
Reach out to us to discuss your platform’s power needs and how City Labs’ power solutions can help it run longer and more efficiently.Contact Us Today