Overview of Solid State Energy

Solid-State Atomic and Fusion Energy (S-SAFE) is a complex and controversial topic. Here we have divided common questions in to key themes:

What is Solid-State Atomic and Fusion Energy (S-SAFE)?

  • And what it’s not (quantum coherence for example, quasi particle) 
  • S-SAFE is a method of using hydrogen isotopes with metals to produce nuclear scale energy output. This phenomena would be another path to unlocking heat energy from within atoms (nuclear energy) as opposed to chemical energy (bond breaking between atoms).

What are the distinctions between S-SAFE, low energy nuclear reactions (LENR), and cold fusion?

  • S-SAFE - Solid-state is an umbrella term that includes all solid-state systems that produce energy: solid-state batteries, solar-cells, catalyzed fusion in low-energy systems, etc.
  • Cold Fusion - Following the announcement of Pons and Fleischmann, "Cold Fusion" became the term adopted by the popular media but following scrutiny and skepticism from the mainstream scientific community, "cold fusion" became associated with poor science.
  • Low energy nuclear reactions (LENR) - Following the DOE review of the field in 2003, LENR was increasingly adopted at the terminology for practitioners in the field. Scientifically, this term may be the most precise as it is not known whether the overall mechanism is fission, fusion, or a combination them.

Who are the pioneers of Solid-State Atomic and Fusion Energy (S-SAFE)?

  • Wendt and Irion - The phenomena of low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR) has been reported for decades from independent researchers from around the world. Perhaps better known by the term “cold fusion”, the observations suggest anomalous energy production on scale of nuclear reactions but produced from within chemical systems without extreme temperatures or pressures. 
  • In 1989, electrochemists from the University of Utah — Drs Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, publicly announced a sustained nuclear fusion reaction at room temperature. They were met with intense criticism from the scientific community and harsh denunciation. Attempts to replicate their results or suggest a mechanism completely explaining this phenomena have eluded researchers in the intervening years. Further investment and scientific interest in the exploration of low-energy nuclear reactions has been limited in large part to the shadow of this early experiment. 

How does S-SAFE related to nuclear fission and fusion?

  • Nuclear Fission:
    •  In late 1938, two physicists, Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn, discovered something previously thought to be impossible: a uranium nucleus had split in two! 
    • In experiments that involved shooting uranium atoms (element number 92) with lone neutrons they found that they ended up with two lighter (lower atomic number) elements. No one thought that one tiny neutron could cause the much larger nucleus to break apart. This process was thus dubbed fission.
    • The energy released in a nuclear fission reaction is roughly 200 Mega electron-volts (MeV), explained by Einstein’s famous E = mc2 equation, where mass, in this case a very small amount, can be transformed into quite a large amount of energy. It would take the equivalent of more than 13 barrels of oil to match the energy contained in just one gram of Uranium.
  • Hot Nuclear Fusion: 
    • Around roughly the same time as work on cracking atoms into pieces was going on, another team of physicists was looking to understand the physics of the stars themselves. In 1934 Ernest Rutherford observed the enormous energetic effect that could be produced from the fusion of deuterium and helium. It wasn’t until 1939 that Hans Bethe suggested a proton to proton fusion chain that could explain the process by which the sun generates its energy. 
    • Light atomic nuclei fuse together under tremendous heat and pressure into heavier elements and release large amounts of energy in the process. Coulombic forces work to repel things of the same charge. Imagine the nucleons are two incredibly strong positive ends of two different magnets that you’re trying to stick together to essentially  one magnet. The closer you push them the stronger the force driving them apart gets, which is the fundamental challenge of inducing fusion. 
  • S-SAFE
    • Research and observations that have been reported by the community seeking to create systems that produce excess heat since 1989. Experiments generally use palladium metal electrodes with deuterated water, regular water, or mixed H-D in electrochemical and gas loading systems. Reports correlating excess measured heat with current density, loading, temperature, presence of helium, radio frequency (RF) emissions, neutron emissions, and gamma emissions, more have been made but are often difficult to recreate or build consensus regarding results explanation.

Is S-SAFE safe?

  • Unsafe radiation from S-SAFE research experiments have not been observed
  • Fusion reactions involving hydrogen do not produce radioactive products.


How are S-SAFE experiments performed?

  • The essential components are a metal catalyst and some isotopes of hydrogen.  
    • Heat detection: Experimentalists use some combination of calorimetry. 
    • Transmutations and nuclear detection: ICP-MS for elemental analysis, neutron detection.
    • Gamma detection: x-ray films.

Where does the energy come from?

  • Some amount of mass is converted into energy via mass defect, but whether that is through a ‘fission’ or ‘fusion’ process is unknown. 
  • Known Fusion Processes from isotopes of hydrogen. 
    • D + D → T (1.01 MeV) + p (3.02 MeV)
    • D + D → 3He (0.82 MeV) + n (2.45 MeV)
    • D + D → 4He (73.7 keV)+ y (23.8 MeV)
    • D + T → 4He (3.5 MeV) + n (14.1 MeV)
    • D + 3He → 4He (3.6 MeV) + p (14.7 MeV)
  • Known Fission Processes (transmutations)
    • Nickel → Iron + heat

Which organizations fund S-SAFE research and commercializations?

Government Institutions 

  • NEDO
  • CleanMHE
  • LBNL
  • US Navy HIVER

Academic Institutions

  • Tohoku University
  • Kyoto University 
  • Kyushu University
  • MIT
  • George Washington University
  • Stanford 
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Maryland 
  • Texas Tech University

Private Industry 

  • Clean Planet, Inc. 
  • Industrial Heat
  • Brillouin Energy, Corp.
  • Aquarius Energy 
  • Google (MIT, University of Maryland, LBNL, University of British Columbia)

Other Activities

  • ARPA-E LENR Workshop | Oct. 2021
  • ICCF

What are the primary challenges in a repeatable experiment?

  • Detecting neutrinos 
  • Accurately measuring excess heat 
  • Reproducibility of experiment and experimental set-up
  • Lack of a sound theoretical basis to support a large body of empirical evidence
  • Complexity and cost of nuclear physics modeling 


Is sse a viable source of energy?

It remains to be seen whether the heat released via this phenomena can be effectively captured and transformed into useful electrical energy, but the handful of startups at the frontier of this field believe that the engineering associated with energy capture will be achievable once consistent and repeatable heat can be produced.  

What are the various commercial opportunities for SSE?


  • Boilers
  • Chemical, petroleum, metals, glass processing industries
  • Direct Air Capture for carbon reduction
  • Power generation

Is this technology safe?

  • Have radiation or radioactive elements been detected during experiments? 
    • No, neutrons or other radioactive elements have not been detected 
    • No, gamma radiation has not been detected
  • All current empirical evidence points to a safe and waste-free pathway to energy generation 

Are there any current commercial technologies now?

Not yet, we are excited to see the developments in the next few years of current and new entrants into the field.


Who we need

  • Graduate Students and Researchers, Scientists and Engineers (Materials scientists, physicists, electro-chemists, nano-scientists, nuclear scientists and engineers)
  • Investment 
  • Entrepreneurs to develop the science into products 
  • Government and policy support 

Why is this an exciting area to research?

Investigation should be pursued by the scientific community due to the potential impacts on clean-energy production and gained insight for adjacent fields of study if realized effectively. We know that when the nuclei of atoms break apart or come together there is a release of energy equal to the mass difference between the starting and ending products. Would it be possible to create a materials configuration  that could confine nucleons to such an extent that interactions at the quantum level would allow for fusions or transmutations of elements and release usable heat energy?

Are there prominent scientists who have spoken in favor of furthering this field?

  • Julian Schwinger (Nobel Prize Winning Physicist)
  • Brian Jacobson (Nobel Prize Winning Physicist)
Explore the research

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