Are Scientists Planning on Killing COVID-19 with UV LEDs?
This sounds like something straight out of a science fiction novel.
Ever since this virus first made itself known, we've been searching for a cure to heal us and a vaccine to protect us from getting sick. There has also been a lot of research that's been done on how to kill the virus on a large scale before it ever has a chance to spread. This could be the key to getting back to large scale events more quickly and with more confidence.
So are scientists turning to tanning beds?
No, I'm just kidding. But on a serious note, The Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York City has been using Ultraviolet light-emitting devices to disinfect subway cars and other facilities. If you've ever ridden the subway in New York, you know this could come in handy all throughout those platforms. I know, it sounds bananas, right? But wait until you see what it looks like in action.
It literally looks like the subway car in some crazy whacked-out time travel movie. The company behind the devices being used for disinfection in NYC is called Puro. From what I've read online is that these devices are becoming more and more streamlined.
And it sounds like the next step is to make these UV-emitting LED lights portable.
Scientists at Penn State and the University of Minnesota have been working on. Originally they were trying to find a new way to disinfect water, but they stumbled across a new class of transparent conductors that may be able to kill Coronavirus germs. If you want to get really technical, the material is called strontium niobate. Their findings were recently published in Physics Communications.
If this works, it seems like the idea would be to make these available for movie theaters, stadiums and concert venues. Looking further down the road, we could see pocket-sized light disinfectants that we could carry around just like the hand sanitizer dangling from our car keys. I think I'll refer to mine as my lightsaber.