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Jun 23, 2021

Ultraviolet LEDs prove effective in eliminating coronavirus from surfaces and, potentially, air and water

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, energy

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As COVID-19 continues to ravage global populations, the world is singularly focused on finding ways to battle the novel coronavirus. That includes the UC Santa Barbara’s Solid State Lighting & Energy Electronics Center (SSLEEC) and member companies. Researchers there are developing ultraviolet LEDs that have the ability to decontaminate surfaces — and potentially air and water — that have come in contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“One major application is in medical situations — the disinfection of personal protective equipment, surfaces, floors, within the HVAC systems, et cetera,” said materials doctoral researcher Christian Zollner, whose work centers on advancing deep ultraviolet light LED technology for sanitation and purification purposes. He added that a small market already exists for UV-C disinfection products in medical contexts.

Indeed, much attention of late has turned to the power of ultraviolet light to inactivate the novel coronavirus. As a technology, ultraviolet light disinfection has been around for a while. And while practical, large-scale efficacy against the spread of SARS-CoV-2 has yet to be shown. UV light shows a lot of promise: SSLEEC member company Seoul Semiconductor in early April reported a “99.9% sterilization of coronavirus (COVID-19) in 30 seconds” with their UV LED products. Their technology currently is being adopted for automotive use, in UV LED lamps that sterilize the interior of unoccupied vehicles.

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