Startup’s UV-LED technology set to disinfect Covid-19

Startup’s UV-LED technology set to disinfect Covid-19

Technology News |
By Peter Clarke

Far-UVC lamps operating at around a wavelength of 222nm are already deployed for disinfection but are bulky, fragile and costly. NS Nanotech’s solid-state emissive LED is described as being a “nitride semiconductor” that can be lower cost.

According to studies conducted at Columbia University and Kobe University far-UVC photons at wavelength of 222nm or less can deactivate coronavirus without penetrating or damaging live human cells, making far-UVC sanitizing light safer for humans with the potential for use in a wide range of products, including personal consumer devices.

Artist’s impression of air purifier
and Covid neutralizer. Source: NS Nanotech.

Initial chip samples will be available to OEM partners before the end of the year, NS Nanotech said The company also plans to offer an electrically operated air purifier the size of a coffee cup that can neutralize the coronavirus and other airborne pathogens.

The unit will be available in 2021 and is intended for personal and business use in the home in the office, in schools and on transportation systems.

The technology is based on work originally performed at the University of Michigan and McGill University. NS Nanotech claims its nitride semiconductor chips are the first solid-state devices to emit far-UVC light at wavelengths ranging from 200 to 222nm. These wavelengths are reported to be 99.9 percent effective at neutralizing airborne coronaviruses in their path.

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“Our coronavirus-neutralizing chip breaks barriers in semiconductor fabrication that previously prevented delivery of solid-state far-UVC light,” said Seth Coe-Sullivan, CEO and co-founder of NS Nanotech, in a statement. “With a far smaller form factor and lower potential costs than any other available shortwave ultraviolet light source, it is perfectly suited for many applications with the potential to safely deactivate airborne coronavirus and other pathogens.”

UVC lighting suppliers have introduced 222nm lamps but these are based on excimer bulbs that are large and fragile and require filters to block out longer UVC wavelengths that can be dangerous.

NS Nanotech’s chip measures 1.5 inches on a side allowing it to be designed into a wide range of form factors including wearables. The power efficiency is such that battery-powered operation is possible. The first deployment of the technology is likely to be in a portable tetrahedron-shaped table-top air purifier.

NS Nanotech was founded in August 17, 2017. Coe-Sullivan previously co-founded QD Vision, a quantum-dot display company sold to Samsung in 2016.

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