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With coronavirus cases around the world now at over 6.2 million, scientists have been working around the clock to find a way to halt the pandemic.

Now, scientists at Penn University, the University of Minnesota and two Japanese universities claim that coronavirus could be killed by a handheld UV light device. 

Ultraviolet radiation in the 200 to 300 nanometre range is known to destroy the virus.

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And while devices with these doses do currently exist, they require high power, have a relatively short lifetime, and are bulky.

Instead, the researchers say that a handheld device with the same UV levels could be the perfect solution for keeping the public protected while on the go.

Dr Roman Engel-Herbert, one of the authors of the study, said: “You have to ensure a sufficient UV light dose to kill all the viruses.

This means you need a high-performance UV LED emitting a high intensity of UV light, which is currently limited by the transparent electrode material being used.”

Unfortunately, developing such a device is easier said than done.

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Joseph Roth, who also worked on the study, added: “There is currently no good solution for a UV-transparent electrode. Right now, the current material solution commonly employed for visible light application is used despite it being too absorbing in the UV range.

“There is simply no good material choice for a UV-transparent conductor material that has been identified.”

The team is currently in the process of developing a handheld UV device, although it remains unclear when it will be ready.

Mr Roth added: “While our first motivation in developing UV transparent conductors was to build an economic solution for water disinfection, we now realize that this breakthrough discovery potentially offers 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.”

SEE ALSO: Officials explore home-based care for Covid-19 patients in Mombasa


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