Recently, a team of researchers from North Carolina and Japan have jointly made a breakthrough on UV disinfection using LED technology.
As we know, aluminum nitride (AlN) is used in LEDs, based on its strengths which can handle a lot of power and create light in a wide spectrum of colors, particularly in the UV range. But AlN LEDs to create UV light have been severely limited because the substrates that served as the foundation for these semiconductors absorbed wavelengths of UV light that are crucial to applications in sterilization and water treatment technologies.
To solve the problem, researchers from North Carolina and Japan have used computer simulation, determining that trace carbon atoms in the crystalline structure of the AlN substrate were responsible for absorbing most of the relevant UV light.
Based on the discovery, the team can eliminate the carbon in the substrate to significantly improve the amount of UV light that can pass through the substrate at the desired wavelengths.
Commercial technologies incorporating this research are currently being developed by HexaTech Inc., a spin-off company from NC State.