Physicists have found a way to make powerful UV LEDs that they believe manufacturers could incorporate into lightweight devices for destroying pathogens such as the new coronavirus.
A newly discovered material that conducts electricity and is transparent to UV light could have a use in portable devices for killing SARS-CoV-2. This is the virus that causes COVID-19.
The scientists conducted their research before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. They originally envisaged devices for applications such as water disinfection but quickly saw their potential in the current crisis.
They now see UVC-emitting LED technology as a potential way to deactivate the new coronavirus in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
The researchers say that people could use portable devices to disinfect public areas, such as theaters, sports arenas, subways, buses, and airplanes.
Although the potential of the new material is exciting, it is important to emphasize that the research is still in its initial stages.
Developing and testing possible disinfection devices that incorporate UV LEDs will take time.
One important limitation of a handheld device would be ensuring that it can deliver sufficiently sustained high doses of UV to deactivate the virus.
For comparison, to guarantee that it could destroy 99.9% of coronavirus particles, the aforementioned UVC system for disinfecting operating theaters had to irradiate surfaces for at least 5 minutes.
Medical reference: medical news today