Wide Band Gaps Laboratory at the Forefront of UV Disinfection of Surfaces

Research led by Profs. Ramón Collazo and Zlatko Sitar on the development of materials for portable ultraviolet light emitting diodes (UVC LEDs) for disinfection of surfaces was featured in Raleigh’s ABC 11 News! The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the urgency for such devices.

NCSU’s WideBandgaps Laboratory and its industry partners are actively researching ways to improve the current state of the art of these devices. These LEDs emit light in the ultraviolet part of the light spectrum. More specifically, they emit light at a wavelength of around 265 nanometers (200 nm is about 1/1000 the length of the diameter of human hair). At that wavelength range, DNA can be destroyed very efficiently and thus bacteria and some viruses can be neutralized, including COVID-19. While some UVC LEDs are currently commercially available, they suffer from short lifetime, high cost, and low power.

Check out Prof. Collazo’s interview here!