Ultraviolet light is always dubbed as the villain that is the root cause for many evils that range from skin cancer to searing hot summers.
But then, selective use of UV light in certain situations also has many advantages.
Tapping precisely into these wide array of benefits is the latest lamp developed by scientists in Japan that emits high-energy ultraviolet (UV) light at the shortest wave lengths ever recorded for such a device.
Emitting UV light between the wavelengths of 140 to 220 nanometers, the lamp offers a wonderful alternate to existing bulky UV lights that are cumbersome, consume way too much power and get hot very quickly.
The lamp emits what is called ‘vacuum UV light’, which travels through vacuum with ease, but gets absorbed by oxygen in the atmosphere.
Thanks to this property, vacuum UV light is used to sterilize medical equipment and offer germ-free conditions for sensitive surgical processes. The light also finds plenty of use in the metallurgy industry.
The new lamp is “fabricated with a solid-state phosphor made from a thin film of KMgF3”, making it a convenient alternative to the existing vacuum UV lamps.
It also does not use expensive rare earth elements and toxic gases, making the process of production both cheaper and eco-friendly.
A statement from the lead researcher Shingo Ono of Japan’s Nagoya Institute of Technology reads:
“Our lamp is a promising light source in terms of lifetime, size, heat conduction, and stability and has the potential to be an excellent alternative light source to low-pressure mercury lamps, excimer lamps, and deuterium lamps”