Dec 12, 2016 | Metz, France
Congratuations to Charles Munson, a GT-CNRS UMI researcher, on receiving the first place prize at Trophée MC6, a French scientific startup competition in which graduate student teams from the Grand Est region of France present their research in French within six minutes to an audience of government officials and representatives from industry and universities. Charles' PhD was advised by Prof. Abdallah Ougazzaden and co-advised by Prof. Paul Voss.
Charles and the Georgia Tech Lorraine team’s winning proposal was entitled “A Battery for an Eternal Heart,” which proposed the creation of a long-life betavoltaic battery that is small enough to fit in future pacemakers and can power the pacemaker for over 100 years with no need to recharge the device. This long battery lifespan is possible due to the source material Nickel 63, in conjunction with gallium nitride, a highly durable semiconductor. One of the main issues facing pacemaker technology today is that their batteries use lithium ion technology, which has a lifespan limited to 5 to 10 years in practice and results in the need for multiple replacements of the battery over time. By having a battery that has a nearly unlimited lifespan, the need for potentially costly and dangerous surgery can be drastically reduced, improving the quality of life for the hundreds of thousands of patients that have pacemakers implanted worldwide each year. This long-life battery technology can also be used in other areas where the replacement of batteries is difficult or cost-prohibitive, such as sensors to monitor the health of bridges, space exploration, and underground or underwater sensing equipment.
Keep up the excellent work, Charles!