LG Innotek says it has developed the world’s first 100-mW UV-C LED. The UV-C LED emits ultraviolet light with short wavelengths ranging between 200 – 280 nm and is also called deep UV. It is used in sterilizing and hardening devices with its ability to destroy bacterial DNA and cause chemical reactions with special materials. LG Innotek’s product emits UV in the range of 278 nm.
A UV-C LED can produce more powerful sterilizing effects with higher light output, but it is difficult to make it stable because of the heat it generates. LG Innotek says it overcame the technological limit by applying an epitaxial structure and vertical chip technology that maximize light extraction. The resulting 100-mW UV-C LED can emit strong sterilization ultraviolet light for more than 10,000 hours.
As the LED can rapidly sterilize flowing water and even air, it can be used in a wide array of household appliances from water purifiers and air purifiers to air conditioning systems for buildings and automobiles as well as water treatment devices.
Conventional UV-C LEDs with a light output level of 1~2 mW are mostly used for portable sterilizers or small household appliances. Due to their weak UV-C power, their scope of application is limited.
The company says it has discussed development of a variety of products using the UV-C LED with a number of other global companies, and the demand for high-output LEDs continues to grow.
The UV LED market is expected to more than triple to $526 million by 2020 from $166 million last year. In particular, the portion of UV-C in the market is expected to increase from $28 million to $244 million during the same period.