UV Steril - Sterilization of Air Filter Systems by UV-C LED radiation

Air filtration systems are considered an effective measure to reduce the risk of infection by SARS-Cov-2 in enclosed spaces. However, the HEPA filters commonly used to date are maintenance-intensive and costly. Researchers at Fraunhofer EMFT, together with Helmholtz Zentrum München, ams OSRAM International GmbH and MANN+HUMMEL GmbH, are following a new, energy-efficient approach in the joint project UV Steril: They are developing self-sterilizing filter elements using integrated LED chips to clean the air. These special latest-generation LEDs from OSRAM emit high-energy UV-C radiation that is able to inactivate viruses such as SARS-COV2 very efficiently. 

© Fraunhofer EMFT
Unhoused UV-C LED mounted on a foil conductor track.

In order to use such LEDs in ventilation systems for disinfection, they are mounted on flexible and geometrically very variably configurable foil strips or foil nets. The design and production of such foil structures and their subsequent integration into indoor air filter systems are in focus of the project work at Fraunhofer EMFT. To this end, the team is establishing and characterizing various assembly techniques for unhoused LED chips on foil conductor tracks. In addition to a local reflow bond process, particularly adhesive processes are being investigated, e.g. using anisotropic conductive adhesives for mechanical and electrical contacting of the chips on the foil conductor tracks.

Further scientific and technical questions include e.g. investigating the effective dissipation of the heat generated by the LEDs via the film, or resistance of various film materials against the high-energy UV-C radiation for a sufficiently long time.

The project is funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy under grant number DIE-2010-0007// DIE0132/04. 



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