Current sources based on supercapacitors with β-radioisotopes
UDC: 621.3; 621.039
In asymmetric supercapacitors, electric charges are separated and accumulated during neutron irradiation. The paper deals with current sources with radioactive isotopes (CSRI) based on 100 F supercapacitors made by means of neutron activation of elements introduced into the electrodes of substances (BN or SrO). After neutron irradiation with a dose of up to 400 Gy, the supercapacitors turn into CSRI with a charging rate of up to 7.8 μ V/day. The CSRI charging rate increases in proportion to the activation neutron dose up to 14 kGy. This is due to the production of β-active isotopes as a result of the reactions 14N(n, p)14C and 88Sr(n, γ)89Sr in the supercapacitor electrodes.
An estimate of the radiation-induced charge accumulation rate, taking into account the energy released during β -decay of 14C and 89Sr, excludes the known charge separation mechanisms in a condensed medium due to the ionization and production of secondary electrons, electron-hole pair generation, etc. The electric charge separation and accumulation in CSRI occurs as a result of nonequilibrium thermoelectric phenomena in the near-electrode nano-regions. Nuclear reactions in nanoscale regions produce «temperature gradients» up to 105 K/nm. This leads to the «evaporation» of up to 1013 electrons from nanocrystallites at times of ~ 10–11 s.
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