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Is it possible in the decay cycle to harvest the neutron when it decays to an electron. For example if the neutron saturated boron rod was submerged in an electrolytic solution with an anode and cathode set up with some kind of catalyst in the solution. I was thinking something like if the rod was protected by a plating or coating of iridium with iridium anode and cathode in a solution of aqua regia and disolved platinum. If any of this sounds stupid for any reason its because i have no formal education, this was just an idea that came to me.

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It's not exactly like your idea, but something very like this is done in betavoltaic batteries. They don't harvest the beta electrons themselves. Instead the kinetic energy of the electron generates electron-hole pairs in a semiconductor and this generates an electric current.

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Well, not beta decay of free neutrons. Free neutrons are hard to confine; if you put free neutrons in a boron rod, they'll capture on the boron-10 more or less instantly. There are much cheaper ways to get electrons.

For example, in the betavoltaic batteries that John Rennie describes, each beta-decay electron is created with hundreds or thousands of kilovolts of kinetic energy. These electrons lose that energy by creating tens of thousands of electron-ion pairs, each with an energy of a few volts, which winds up being the operating potential for the battery.

Using beta emitters as electron sources goes all the way back to the early days of being interested in electrons, and is involved great story about how the opportunity to discover parity violation was delayed by thirty years. In the late 1920s, Cox and collaborators were testing the new theory of Mott scattering of polarized electrons by scattering electrons twice in different directions: one right-angle scattering to polarize the electron spins, and a second right-angle scattering to analyze the polarization. The Mott effect was biggest if all three trajectories lay in a plane, so the experiment was to compare north-up-south scattering to north-up-north scattering. As a systematic check, Cox compared north-up-east to north-up-west, and found that they were different, which the Mott theory didn't predict. The "problem" went away when Cox switched from a beta-electron source to a thermal electron source, which had a better electron rate anyway.

Cox dutifully wrote up a paper (in 1927) suggesting that beta-decay electrons might be polarized, which was basically forgotten for thirty years until Grodzins dug it up in a literature search. The whole story is told nicely in Allan Franklin's book "Are there really neutrinos."

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