We're Ramping Up Production of the Far-UVC ShortWaveLight™ Emitter
A multimillion-dollar licensing deal will enable us to start delivering solid-state far-UVC disinfecting light in early 2022
I have some good news for customers and friends of NS Nanotech who have been waiting for first shipments of our far-UVC ShortWaveLight™ Emitter. I’m pleased to announce we have completed a multimillion-dollar licensing deal that will fund ongoing development of our emitter technology and accelerate our ramp to initial production starting in early 2022. The new funding completes our pivot toward development of the world's first solid-state sources of invisible far-UVC light for disinfection of air, surfaces, and water.
When we started NS Nanotech in 2017, the company was already at the forefront of innovations in nanoscale LEDs that emit both visible light and invisible ultraviolet light. One of our co-founders, Prof. Zetian Mi, had developed and patented much of this groundbreaking technology over the previous decade at McGill University and the University of Michigan. So, NS Nanotech started out with rights to a substantial portfolio of patents addressing development of both visible and ultraviolet nano-LEDs.
As the Covid-19 pandemic continued to rage in 2021, we decided to turn from our initial focus on visible display technology to an all-out effort developing solid-state emitters of invisible far-UVC light for numerous disinfection applications. At the same time, to ensure continued development of nano-LEDs for visible displays, we decided to offer one or more manufacturers of display components licenses on a portion of our patent portfolio covering red-, green-, and blue nano-LEDs. And in October 2021 we closed a major licensing agreement with a leading participant in the display market. (Details of the licensing deal are confidential at this time.)
Far-UVC Light is a Pandemic Game-Changer
The licensing agreement has provided us with a multimillion-dollar war chest to finish development and start production of our solid-state emitters of invisible far-UVC disinfecting light. Ultraviolet light in the far-UVC wavelength range, from 200-to-240 nanometers, deactivates numerous pathogens and is expected to be a potent weapon in the ongoing fight against Covid-19 and future pandemics. It has the potential reduce the viral load in many occupied spaces where the disease spreads most rapidly.
While traditional UVC light at wavelengths of 240 nanometers and higher neutralizes germs, too much exposure can harm your skin and eyes in the same way that too much sunlight can. But far-UVC light’s shorter wavelengths below 240 nm do not penetrate past your body’s protective outer layer of dead skin cells or make their way through the liquid tear layer that protects your eyes.
Short-wavelength far-UVC light therefore can potentially be used in more spaces where people are likely to congregate. It can be designed to constantly disinfect the air people breathe and surfaces they touch, silently and proactively preventing them from infecting each other. Which makes it a game-changer not only in the fight against Covid-19 and its variants, but also in the long-term global battle to prevent future pandemics. By providing ongoing, preventative disinfection of air in occupied spaces, it acts as an invisible first line of defense against global infectious diseases.
Solid-State Far-UVC Breakthrough
As the first solid-state source of far-UVC light, our ShortWaveLight™ Emitter has significant advantages over previous solutions. Other suppliers have introduced 222-nanometer far-UVC lamps, but their products are based on an earlier generation of technology that does not benefit from a solid-state light source. They use excimer bulbs that contain caustic gases and are large, fragile, expensive, and too hot to touch. They also require filters to block the longer UVC wavelengths, adding substantial cost. NS Nanotech’s solid-state ShortWaveLight™ Emitters, on the other hand, eliminate those problems:
They have the smallest form factor available for any far-UVC germicidal light—each device is 1.5-inches in diameter—and are manufactured with standard, cost-efficient semiconductor fabrication processes.
Because of their solid-state semiconductor emitter design, they run cool, do not require a filter, and do not use caustic gases or chemicals; they are also small enough to enable portability and are dimmable to comply with ACGIH regulatory standards.
They can be designed into everything from tabletop purifiers to elevators to airline cabins to office furniture, enabling a wide range of potential new consumer and business applications that neutralize coronavirus and future pathogens.
In 2021, we also announced we designed a ShortWaveLight™ Purifier using its far-UVC emitter for consumers who want to purify their personal airspace. Like the ShortWaveLight™ Emitter, the ShortWaveLight™ Purifier is scheduled for production and first shipments in early 2022.
Far-UVC Disinfection Applications are On the Way
In the second quarter of 2021, we launched our ShortWaveLight™ Evaluation Kit Program and started working with numerous customers who are designing next-generation far-UVC disinfection applications. The Evaluation Kit Program includes a pre-production version of the ShortWaveLight™ Emitter and provides ongoing technical and application development support.
Lighting fixture manufacturers, designers of air purification products, distributors of office furniture, architects designing the next generation of healthy buildings, engineers designing coronavirus-neutralizing HVAC systems, and many others are turning to far-UVC disinfection. They are designing disinfection solutions that will deactivate SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens that spread in aerosols floating in the air we breathe.
Imagine airplanes that disinfect the cabin air with UVC light. Or elevators in busy office buildings where Covid-19 germs are constantly neutralized. Or office cubicles that constantly emit far-UVC light that not only neutralizes Covid-19 germs but also viruses that cause colds and the flu. Partners who join the NS Nanotech Evaluation Kit Program are investigating all these potential far-UVC disinfection applications and more.
Toward Global Leadership in Solid-State Far-UVC Disinfection
Those who have followed us closely over the past year know we are on a mission to establish NS Nanotech as the world leader in solid-state far-UVC disinfection technologies. Covid-19 is not only a clear and present danger, but also a harbinger of future potential viral pandemics. NS Nanotech will address this existential challenge with breakthrough far-UVC technologies to effectively neutralize pathogens that cause Covid and other diseases such as tuberculosis, influenza, and the common cold.
The funding raised from our licensing agreement will accelerate our multiyear plan to progress from today’s nitride-semiconductor lamps to future far-UVC nano-LEDs designed to deliver orders-of-magnitude improvements in miniaturization, portability, and cost. With ongoing development of our solid-state far-UVC lamps and future nano-LEDs, NS Nanotech intends to help set new standards for device efficiency and performance that will enable an entirely new universe of UVC disinfection applications.