ICFUST is the very first International Congress on Far-UVC Science and Technology. It was hosted by the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University in New York City from June 12th to June 14th. The congress brought together over 200 scientists, health professionals, and the industry to discuss the potential of Far- UVC in real world applications and challenges, regulatory standards, and the future of the technology. The latest research was presented by more than 40 international speakers from several universities and companies who shared essential information to be considered for moving the Far-UVC technology forward.
UV Medico supported the congress as one of the main sponsors.

All presentations of the Congress can be found at the Youtube channel of ICFUST.

Brenner picture

David J. Brenner, Center for Radiological Research, Columbia University, New York.

UV Medico participation

Peter Johansen, Chairman

Peter Johansen shared the live experiences of UV Medico since the creation of the company in 2019. He spoke about the main challenges impacting Far-UVC manufacturers and the industry to move forward. The most relevant issues outlined during his speech were:

  • The lack of knowledge from the public about the differences of Far-UVC and UVC.
  • The lack of awareness of regulators and authorities about Far-UVC safety.
  • An exclusive focus on the pandemic. There are many potential applications to be explored.
  • Manufacturers of bad quality products in the market affecting serious manufacturers.
  • A need for industry standards.

Nicolas Volet, CTO and Assoc. Professor at Aarhus University

Nicolas Volet spoke about new applications of nonlinear optics in the Far-UVC field with the prospect of developing devices with reduced size, weight, operating power, and cost. He also presented the latest results of UV Medico in Far-UVC generation, our contribution to the future of Far-UVC – the Far-UVC laser.

As photonics mature beyond component-based devices, complex photonic integrated circuits are now being developed to meet commercial needs at the forefront of technology.

The Far-UVC laser diode is a groundbreaking technology, where the wavelength is 222 nm without a need for filtering excess wavelengths. The laser is developed using known technology that we have today, thereby making it possible to implement soon. We see several opportunities in future implementations using the UV222 laser technology.

Roundtable discussion

A roundtable was organised with industry sponsors. It was discussed how to face current challenges and move the technology forward. Some of the topics debated during the session were:

  • Find a metric to compare disinfection capability of Far-UVC versus other technologies.
  • How to change the negative perception in the public due to a lack of awareness.
  • New studies of ozone emission demonstrate lower levels released than the established limits.
  • Most relevant fields of application.
  • Manufacturers need to join forces and work together to create a regulated framework for the industry.

Congress Remarks

  • A reoccurring theme was the public’s lack of awareness of the differences between the traditional UVC and the Far-UVC light. By encouraging debate regarding the technology, the community should aim at gaining the public’s confidence.

  • UV Medico presented a new and revolutionary Far-UVC source, a Far-UVC laser emitting light at 222 nm without the need of a filter.

  • David Brenner’s presentation focused on published Far-UVC safety data and the recent increase of exposure limits in the ACGIH regulatory guidelines; He also elaborated on Far-UVC efficacy data in the laboratory and in whole-room settings. He concluded that, while staying within current regulatory limits, continuous low-dose-rate overhead Far-UVC light can safely provide a major reduction in the ambient level of airborne viruses in occupied public locations. In such situations it would be beneficial to deploy overhead Far-UVC lights to rapidly and continuously inactivate airborne viruses and limit the spread of airborne disease.

  • Catherine Noakes, Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings at Leeds University. Catherine Noakes delivered an inspiring talk about the quality of indoor air and the importance of providing good environments in buildings. She identified a lack of knowledge regarding air chemistry, the public acceptance of devices, and real-world evidence of the reduction in risk of infections. She also pointed out that there are still many aspects needing a deeper understanding for real-world implementations. However, Prof. Noakes ends her talk by concluding that Far- UVC is one of the most promising technologies to improve the quality of environments.

  • Standards are required for the Far-UVC industry, and the manufacturers should join forces to move forward. Following the congress, it has been suggested to form an ICFUST alliance to strengthen the common efforts against the challenges and look towards a bright future, which we are very excited to be part of.