Pacemakers in the early 1970s were powered by betavoltaic devices which provided long lasting battery life. The betavoltaic devices also emitted gamma radiation due to inadvertent radioisotope contamination, which could not be completely shielded. The betavoltaic devices were quickly replaced by lithium batteries after their invention, and betavoltaics were abandoned. Modern technological advancements made it possible to isolate beta emitting radioisotopes properly and achieve better energy conversion efficiencies which revived the topic of betavoltaics.
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