Article

Development of betavoltaic cell technology production based on microchannel silicon and its electrical parameters evaluation

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Abstract

In the paper a manufacturing process of three-dimensional (3D) microchannel structure by silicon (Si) anodic etching was discussed. The possibility of microchannels formation allows to increase the active area more than 100 times. In this structure the p-n junction on the whole Si surface was formed. The obtained data allowed to evaluate the characteristics of the betavoltaic converter with a 3D structure by using isotope 63Ni with a specific activity of 10Ci/g.

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... Many authors showed that short circuit current and open circuit voltage increase nonlinear with the activity of nickel-63 [Krasnov et al. (2017);Murashev et al. (2014); Liu et al. (2017)]. Unfortunately, they did not explain this effect and just limited themseves to description of experimental data (Fig.1). ...
... In review [Nagornov and Murashev (2016)] we theoretically showed that the using of microchannel structures will allow increase the generation current by two orders. However, experimental works demonstrate only a slight increasing of the currents [Starkov et al. (2015); Krasnov et al. (2017)]. We also associate this fact with the phenomenon of charge of a surface, the magnitude of which increases with surface area. ...
... In the second case, when forming the working area of the plate it was held getter annealing with slow cooling of about 1 0 C/min [Rohatgi and Rai-Choudhury (1980)]. The formation of the getter was carried out using the technology described in [Krasnov et al. (2017)] and was necessary for achieving two goals: a reduction in the leakage currents and a decrease in the concentration of traps at the boundary with the p-type layer. ...
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The charge model for efficiency of betavoltaics effect is proposed. It allows calculating the charge value for pin structures under irradiation of Ni-63. We approximated the current-voltage characteristics of the structures using an equivalent diode circuit with a charge on the barrier capacitance. We calculated the charge function from current-voltage characteristics for two types of silicon pin structures - with and without getter annealing. The charging on the surface of pin structure decreases the efficiency of betavoltaics effect. Value of charge for our structures is changed in the range from -50 to +15mC/cm2 and depends on the applied potential. The getter annealing allows getting the structures with a higher efficiency of betavoltaic effect, but it does not exclude the surface charging under beta irradiation from Ni-63.
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Development and investigation of silicon converter beta radiation 63 Ni isotope
  • A Krasnova
  • A Legotins
  • N Murashevv
KrasnovA.A., LegotinS.A., MurashevV.N., et al.2016. Development and investigation of silicon converter beta radiation 63 Ni isotope. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering. 110, pp. 012029-012034.