Anti-virus far-UVC chip, consumer air purifier announced

Anti-virus far-UVC chip, consumer air purifier announced

Market news |
University of Michigan nano-LED technology startup NS Nanotech has announced what it says is the first solid-state emissive material to produce far-UVC ultraviolet light that can deactivate the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other airborne pathogens.
By Rich Pell

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The chip is based on the company’s patented nitride semiconductor technology developed at the University of Michigan and McGill University that dramatically improves the fabrication process and resulting efficiency of nano-scale light-emitting materials. In addition, says the company, it is also fast-tracking development of a personal air purifier for business and consumers that utilizes the new chip.

The portable pyramid-shaped tabletop device, designed to neutralize coronavirus in the user’s personal airspace, will be about the size of a coffee mug and will be available in 2021. It will be the first consumer application for the far-UVC chip and designed for personal and business use in the home, office, schools, airplanes, ride-shares, and virtually anywhere it can be plugged in.

“Our coronavirus-neutralizing chip breaks barriers in semiconductor fabrication that previously prevented delivery of solid-state far-UVC light,” says NS Nanotech CEO and Co-founder Seth Coe-Sullivan. “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.”

The company says its new nitride semiconductor chips are the first solid-state devices to emit far-UVC light at wavelengths ranging from 200 to 222 nanometers. Third-party research has shown that light emitted in this wavelength range can neutralize more than 99.9% of airborne coronaviruses in their path, with less potential to harm human skin or eyes than longer-wavelength UVC light, such as used in most current-generation UVC lamps, which are most often used only in enclosed HVAC air filters, with robots, or other unpopulated environments.

While several UVC lighting suppliers have recently introduced far-UVC 222-nanometer lamps, says the company, their products are based on an earlier generation of technology requiring the use of excimer bulbs that are large, fragile, expensive, too hot to touch, and require filters to block the longer UVC wavelengths that add substantial cost to the lamps. The solid-state semiconductor emitter design of its new chips, says the company, eliminates those problems and enables them to offer the following benefits:

  • Because they have the smallest form factor available for any far-UVC germicidal light – each chip is less than 1.5-inches square – they can be designed into everything from wearable devices to classroom whiteboards to office furniture, enabling a wide range of potential consumer and business applications to neutralize coronavirus and future pathogens.
  • Because of their solid-state design, they run cool.
  • And they use power efficiently, which will enable portable, battery-powered operation.

Prototypes of the new chips are expected to be available for potential partners to evaluate in the fourth quarter of 2020, with a fast ramp to volume production in 2021.

NS Nanotech

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