UVC refers to ultraviolet light with wavelengths between 200
– 280 nanometers (nm). Light in the UVC wavelength can be used for disinfecting
water, sterilizing surfaces, destroying harmful micro-organisms in food
products and in air.
Why LEDs for UVC?
Though UV lamps are able to generate considerably higher power output than existing UV LEDs, UV lamps suffer from several drawbacks. Specific advantages of UV LEDs over UV lamps such as deuterium gas discharge lamps, mercury arc or vapor lamps include:
- Monochromaticity (No filters necessary)
- Point source
- Instanteneous on/off (No warm up period)
- Small footprint
- Energy efficiency
- Environmental friendliness (No mercury)
- Mechanical robustness (unlike UV lamps which are fragile and susceptible to breakage)
- Safety (Low voltage source)
- Wide range of temperature of operation
- Longer lifetimes
UVC in Disinfection
UVC radiation, in the range of 250 nm - 280 nm, renders harmful microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses ineffective, by destroying the genetic information in the DNA. The micro-organisms lose their reproductive capability and are destroyed. The germicidal nature of UV is well suited to treat parasites which are extremely resistant to chemical disinfectants, such as Cryptosporidium or Giardia.