Seoul Viosys sees increased demand for its UV LEDs for sterilization to prevent spread of coronavirus

March 4, 2020
Probably due to COVID-19, inquiries for the UV LEDs have increased by more than five times in a month.

Seoul Viosys (Ansan, South Korea), a subsidiary of Seoul Semiconductor that produces UV LEDs, says that customer inquiries for its violeds UV LED products, used for sterilizing bacteria, increased more than five times over the previous month, fueled by concerns over the continuing global spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to the Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation Handbook,1 one minute of UV-C light sterilizes more than 90% of [other versions of] the coronavirus. Tests conducted by Chinese agencies on appliances equipped with violeds UV LED sterilization have demonstrated a 97% reduction in airborne virus particles.

With the growing concerns over the global spread of the coronavirus, numerous automotive companies in China are reviewing adoption of the violeds UV LED technology in sterilization systems for vehicle interiors.

Other uses

The violeds UV LEDs are also used by NASA aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to provide a germ-free environment for astronauts. In addition, the technology has been adopted by Maltani, a Korean lighting company, for sterilization lighting applications, and by RGF Environmental Group, an in-duct air treatment supplier in the U.S., for its Halo-LED indoor air-quality system launched in November of 2019. Violeds UV LEDs are also used in water purifiers from SK Magic and Hyundai Rental Care.

Conventional UV LEDs typically have a short lifetime (10,000 hours) and high cost, says Seoul Viosys. The company says that it has improved the lifetime of its own violeds UV LED to more than 50,000 hours, which is a lifetime similar to that for visible LEDs used for general lighting applications.

“We have long been involved in developing UV LEDs for innovative biomedical and agricultural applications,” says CEO Chung Hoon Lee, CEO of Seoul Semiconductor, which established Seoul Viosys 20 years ago. Seoul Viosys is currently run by its CEO Young Joo Lee, who started the company in 2002.

Source: Seoul Viosys


1. Kowalski, W., "Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation Handbook," Heidelberg, Germany: Springer-Verlag (2009).

About the Author

John Wallace | Senior Technical Editor (1998-2022)

John Wallace was with Laser Focus World for nearly 25 years, retiring in late June 2022. He obtained a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Rutgers University and a master's in optical engineering at the University of Rochester. Before becoming an editor, John worked as an engineer at RCA, Exxon, Eastman Kodak, and GCA Corporation.

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