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Riken physicists create far-ultraviolet disinfection LEDs that are safe for humans

By Liu Hongzuo - on 17 Oct 2022, 3:38pm

Riken physicists create far-ultraviolet disinfection LEDs that are safe for humans

Photo by Alena Shekhovtcova on Pexels.

Three Riken Research Institute physicists created a far-ultraviolet LED that’s allegedly safe enough to expose to people, as reported by the Japanese research firm.

According to Riken, existing ultraviolet (UV) LED lamps for killing bacteria and viruses are extremely effective at sterilising surfaces in hospitals. However, the current types of UV LED lamps can damage human DNA with exposure, and therefore unsafe for people. This likely explains why the Samsung UV Steriliser for phones and spectacles keeps the device enclosed in its box during disinfection.

Masafumi Jo (pictured), Yuri Itokazu and Hideki Hirayama of Riken created a modified virus-killing LED that's more complex, but safer for humans.

Riken (and its three researchers) discovered that increasing the aluminium component in germicidal LED lamps can help to modify these LEDs to be safer for human exposure. To overcome the lower power output from this change, the Riken Quantum Optodevice Laboratory created a multi-layer LED that had 10 times the output power (when compared to their previous attempt).

Riken said that they’re focusing on further improving the far-UV’s LED to become more powerful, and yet power efficient enough for disinfection, and towards “safeguarding society against this and future pandemics”.

Source: Riken

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