Applications for Ultraviolet Light Emitting Devices (UV LEDs)

Poor water quality continues to pose a major threat to human health, and the challenge to supply affordable, point of use water sterilization capability is an enormous global problem.

The World Health Organization reports that diarrheal disease alone amounts to an estimated 3.6% of the total daily global burden of disease, and is responsible for the deaths of 1.5 million people every year. It is estimated that 58% of that burden, or 842,000 deaths per year, is attributable to unsafe water supply, sanitation and hygiene, and includes 361,000 deaths of children under age five, mostly in developing countries.*

HexaTech UVSure™ UV-C LEDs are optimally designed to target this growing global market for germicidal disinfection applications. For over 40 years, UV light between 200 nm and 280 nm has been used for the disinfection of water, as well as air and surfaces. When microorganisms are exposed to wavelengths between 200 nm and 280 nm, the UV-C energy destroys the DNA within the pathogen, rendering it unable to replicate. Germicidal disinfection peaks at between 260 nm and 265 nm, and HexaTech UVSure™ UV-C LEDs are designed to be most effective at this peak of the disinfection curve.

No other solid state technology can do this. Because these devices are small, efficient, rugged, and responsive, UV-C LEDs are suitable for water sterilization at the point of use - in the home, in the office, and in remote locations.

Beyond water disinfection, other applications include:

  • Public health: Sterilization of bacteria in food, indoor air, and work surfaces and tools in food processing and medical facilities;
  • Homeland security: Use of UV sensitive dies and inks in identity documents and currency as well as UV fluorescence needed to identify airborne biological toxins in real time, operational situations and settings;
  • Science, engineering, and industry: Use of UV-C LED light sources in spectroscopy to analyze the chemical composition of materials, including minerals and gemstones. In addition, UV curable inks and polymers (using mercury lamps) are eliminating the needs for toxic, solvent-based inks, and help reduce the "smudge" problem in the printing of newspapers and magazines;
  • National Security: Solar blind detectors, short-range covert communication devices.

Applications in Power Conversion

Power conversion devices convert electricity from one voltage to another or from alternating to direct current. Applications for these devices are all around us; from your personal computer’s power adapter to hybrid vehicles.

High-power electric systems such as solar cell installations and the new class of electric cars present special power conversion challenges. In these applications, every bit of power efficiency is important. AlN devices provide unmatched capability to handle large amounts of power and convert it more efficiently than any other alternative

Based on HexaTech research and development, AlN devices outperform other semiconductors by more than a factor of 10. For example, the graph below shows two key performance parameters for a particular power conversion device called a Schottky diode. These devices are a mainstream workhorse for a myriad of power conversion applications. The best Schottky diodes have a combination of low on-resistance and high breakdown voltage.

This shows that the combined benefit of higher breakdown voltage and lower on-resistance means that Schottky diodes based on AlN should have a power handling capacity 15 times better than those made with silicon carbide (SiC) or gallium nitride (GaN).

Power conversion graphic

*World Health Organization, Global Health Observatory 2012 and 2014