Japanese firm Nichia develops LED that can effectively inactivate coronavirus

Nichia, a major Japanese light-emitting diode maker based in Anan, Tokushima Prefecture today announced the development of a high-power LED that can effectively inactivate the novel coronavirus. Nichia expects the LED can be used in new products such as air purifiers. The company conducted experiments jointly with Tokushima University Prof. Masako Nomaguchi and others and found that the virus was inactivated 99.99% when exposed to a deep ultraviolet LED for 30 seconds.

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The team discovered that the higher the output power, the greater the effect. Nichia is now ready to mass-produce LEDs with an output of 70 milliwatts.Conventional LEDs have an output of 55 milliwatts. The newly developed LED reportedly is capable of emitting light for about 20,000 hours. As the coronavirus is inactivated simply by holding the device over a surface, the product can be deployed in situations where an alcohol-based solution cannot be used.

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Nichia donated prototypes of rechargeable, portable handheld irradiation devices to the Tokushima prefectural government and other entities. The device is equipped with 12 deep ultraviolet LEDs spaced 25 millimeters apart. According to Nichia’s executive director Hiroshi Kamada, the newly developed LEDs could have a wide range of applications, including being installed in air conditioners and air purifiers.