New Research Proposes Transparent Conductor Material for High Performance UV Light Emission

To enhance UVC disinfecting applications, a new study proposed an alternative transparent conductor that deliver UV spectrum to solve the issue of low efficiency of current UV LED technology. The research provide the approach of using SrNbO3 as an electrode material for UV LED.

A joint research group with scholars from The Pennsylvania State University, University of Minnesota from the U.S. and The University of Tokyo and Tohoku University in Japan published their study in Communications Physics suggesting a solution of UV-transparent electrode to develop high performance UV LEDs. The study is titled “SrNbO3 as a transparent conductor in the visible and ultraviolet spectra.”

UV LEDs are now used to disinfection but scientists and industry players are still finding ways to improve performance of UV LEDs to deliver sufficient UV light dose to effectively diminish viruses.


(Image: The Pennsylvania State University)

Finding a new material with the right composition is key to advancing UV LED performance. The research team of the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Minnesota recognized the solution for the problem might be found in a recently discovered new class of transparent conductors. When theoretical predictions pointed to the material strontium niobate, the researchers further collaborated with Japanese partners to obtain strontium niobate films and immediately tested their performance as UV transparent conductors. While these films held the promise of the theoretical predictions, the researchers needed a deposition method to integrate these films in a scalable way.

This is a critical step towards technology maturation which makes it possible to integrate this new material into UV LEDs at low cost and high quantity.

The team noted that the breakthrough can potentially offer a solution to deactivate COVID-19 in aerosols that might be distributed in HVAC systems of buildings. Other areas of application for virus disinfection are densely and frequently populated areas, such as theaters, sports arenas and public transportation vehicles such as buses, subways and airplanes.

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