This paper reviews previous theoretical and experimental study on the possibility of nuclear events in multilayer thin film electrodes (Lipson et al., 2004 and 2005; Miley et al., 2007), including the correlation between excess heat and transmutations (Miley and Shrestha, 2003) and the cluster theory that predicts it. As a result of this added understanding of cluster reactions, a new class of electrodes is under development at the University of Illinois. These electrodes are designed to enhance cluster formation and subsequent reactions. Two approaches are under development. The first employs improved loading‐unloading techniques, intending to obtain a higher volumetric density of sites favoring cluster formation. The second is designed to create nanostructures on the electrode where the cluster state is formed by electroless deposition of palladium on nickel micro structures. Power units employing these electrodes should offer unique advantages for space applications. This is a fundamental new nuclear energy source that is environmentally compatible with a minimum of radiation involvement, high specific power, very long lifetime, and scalable from micro power to kilowatts.
American Institute of Physics