(418g) A Lightweight Betaemitter for Power Applications
Betavoltaic batteries have been around for quite some time but have yet to be manufactured with enough efficiency to safely produce an equivalent battery to current low power batteries. A betavoltaic battery produced with tritium has the potential to produce a battery with a life of around 12 years. Lithium can be easily intercalated into highly-oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG). The trapped lithium can then be neutron-irradiated to form tritium. This would produce a HOPG structure with tritium infused throughout. Understanding the lithium-intercalated HOPG structure is important to determining what might happen upon irradiation. Different methods of analysis were used for characterizing the lithium intercalated HOPG. Auger electron spectroscopy was used to determine if lithium was present. X-ray diffraction determined the spacing between the graphene planes. Although scanning electron microscopy proved inconclusive, transmission electron microscopy and diffraction provide valuable information about the lattice.