NASA SBIR 2018-II Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 18-2- S3.01-6263
 Power Generation and Conversion
 5 Watt per Kilogram Tritium Betavoltaic
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
City Labs, Inc.
12491 Southwest 134 Court, Suite #23
Miami, FL 33186
(305) 909-7593

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Peter Cabauy PhD
301 Civic Court
Homestead, FL 33030 - 6001
(305) 909-7593

BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Peter Cabauy PhD
301 Civic Court
Homestead, FL 33030 - 6001
(305) 909-7593

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 3
End: 6
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

The central goal of this Phase II effort is to create the world’s first milliwatt scale betavoltaic. This project will utilize an ultra-thin, light weight, betavoltaic p/n junction, developed in Phase I, that increases the efficiency of betavoltaic devices from 8% to greater than 10% based on the incident tritium beta flux.  Betavoltaic power sources offer advantages under conditions that render battery replacement difficult, impossible, or life-threatening, and in applications where long-lasting (20+ years), continuous, low-power sources are crucial to device operation. These applications include defense electronics, homeland security, intelligence sensors, aerospace, structural-health monitoring sensors, sub-sea sensors, satellites / deep space probes, and medical devices / implants.  City Labs is the only licensed manufacturer of betavoltaic power sources which carries a General License allowing distribution to anyone in the United States without requiring the recipient to possess a radiation license.  The specific power of tritium is 340 W/kg with a half-life of 12.3 years and is readily available for commercial applications such as luminous watch dials, exit signs, medical tracers, and betavoltaic batteries. Traditionally, tritium metal hydride films have had a power density of approximately 38 W/kg (e.g. titanium tritide) but City Labs’ new metal tritide film has a power density approaching 70 W/Kg and can be expanded to 100 W/kg. The milliwatt scale betavoltaic will consist of a wide bandgap III-V p/n junction, developed in Phase I, and a high beta-flux metal tritide, stacked into layers of ultra-thin junctions. City Labs will perform this work in partnership with Microlink Devices, a leader in metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) and epitaxial lift-off (ELO) junctions.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

City Labs anticipates that the proposed work will result in the creation of a betavoltaic battery with a volumetric energy density >100 times that of lithium batteries (integrated over 20 years of continuous power). This ultra-high, energy density will allow tritium betavoltaics to be introduced to a mainstream market in a number of potential NASA applications, including high value deep space missions, CubeSats, independent power sources for spacecraft electronics and backup communications systems.

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Applications include: defense/security applications, anti-tamper, nuclear storage/ device monitoring applications, satellite power supplies, including CubeSats, autonomous wireless sensors, and medical implants. City Labs currently has letters-of-support from Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems and  a purchase order from Lockheed Martin Space Systems for the proposed betavoltaic power source.


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