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ArticleName Synthesis of titanium dioxide nanotubes for the development of betavoltaic cells
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2022.10.12
ArticleAuthor Bratsuk A. V., Kovtun S. Yu., Bezzhovchiy D. A., Fedorov E. N.

Luch Research & Production Association, R&D Institute, Podolsk, Russia:

A. V. Bratsuk, Category 2 Process Engineer, e-mail:
S. Yu. Kovtun, Process Engineer, e-mail:
D. A. Bezzhovchiy, Process Engineer, e-mail:
E. N. Fedorov, Principal Researcher, e-mail:


In recent decades, nanotechnology has developed rapidly. Nanotechnology makes the basis for various microelectronic devices that use micro- or milliwatt power. Betavoltaic batteries can serve as power generators of such order. They are combined sets of betavoltaic cells (BVC) based on long-live isotopes and semiconductor converters. This paper considers the use of nickel-63 — an isotope with a half-life of 100.1 years and an average beta-particle energy of 17.4 keV – as a betaradiation source for single BVCs. The advantages of using nickel-63 include safety, technological adaptability, and purity. It emits soft beta-radiation, which does not create critical defects in semiconductors. Titanium dioxide, which is an n-type semiconductor and has high radiation resistance, was used as a semiconductor converter. Titanium dioxide has a relatively wide band gap (3.0 eV for anatase) and can easily develop its surface through common electrochemical anodizing process. The combination of developed structure and a wide band gap will increase the probability of creating a high power density BVC. The authors of this paper synthesized and modified the vertically aligned TiO2 nanotube arrays and used them to develop a slim prototype BVC using a 20% enriched nickel-63 isotope. Having the dimensions of 20 mm × 20 mm × (15–17) μm, the resulting BVC has an open-circuit voltage of 0.3 V and a short-circuit current density of 0.35 nA/cm2. Such electrical characteristics in combination with very small dimensions can potentially lead to the development of a betavoltaic battery with increased power density.
The authors would like to thank Aleksey S. Shadskiy and German L. Ilyichev, who were first to engage in betavoltaic studies at Luch; Dmitry A. Zaytsev for conducting an X-ray phase analysis; Dmitry S. Kiselev for conducting a SEM study; Aleksandra A. Igonina for her su pport with preparation work; Ivan E. Galev and Andrey A. Mokrushin for their creativity and organizational support.
This research was carried out as part of Rosatom’s Single Industry-Specific Plan: Developing a Radioisotope Power Module for Periodically Activated Electronic Devices.

keywords Betavoltaic cell, nuclear battery, semiconductor converter, nickel-63, titanium dioxide nanotubes, anodizing, energy conversion, open-circuit voltage, short-circuit current

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