Defect-induced betavoltaic enhancement in black titania nanotube arrays Academic Article uri icon


  • Utilizing high-energy beta particles emitted from radioisotopes for long-lifetime betavoltaic cells is a great challenge due to their low energy conversion efficiency (ECE). Here we report a betavoltaic cell fabricated using black titania nanotube arrays (TiO2 NTAs) by electrochemical anodization and Ar-annealing techniques. The obtained samples show enhanced electrical conductivity as well as Vis-NIR light absorption by the introduction of oxygen vacancy (OV) and Ti3+ defects in reduced TiO2-x NTAs. A 20 mCi63 Ni source was assembled into TiO2 NTAs to form a sandwich-type betavoltaic cell. By I-V measurements, the Ar-annealed TiO2 NTAs at 650 °C exhibited a maximum ECE of 3.65% with Voc = 1.13 V, Jsc = 103.3 nA cm-2, and Pmax = 37 nW cm-2. In comparison with air-annealed TiO2 NTAs, the enhancement of the betavoltaic effect in reduced TiO2-x NTAs can be attributed to the suppression of e-h recombination induced by the generation of OV and Ti3+ defects, serving as electron donors as well as electron traps that not only contribute to the increase of electrical conductance, but also facilitate the charge carrier separation.

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, N. a., Ma, Y., Chen, J., Chen, C., San, H., Chen, J., & Cheng, Z.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Na||Ma, Yang||Chen, Jiang||Chen, Changsong||San, Haisheng||Chen, Jige||Cheng, Zhengdong

publication date

  • July 2018