Wondering About the Future of Pulsed Light

by | Jan 4, 2022

What do chicken eggs, solar cells, and avocados have in common? They were all made better or safer in 2021 thanks to breakthrough research in the use of Pulsed Light.

Chicken eggs made headlines when Dr. Josh Cassar announced that Pulsed Light could decontaminate eggs more economically than other methods.

In the solar cell industry, Pulsed Light emerged as a key enabling technology for a new material, perovskite, that is 100 times thinner than the silicon currently in use. Imagine shaving that much material and cost from every solar cell in the world! It should be a game-changer.

The Covid pandemic has highlighted the need for disinfecting solutions in a wide variety applications. XENEX’ LightStrike robots are already disinfecting healthcare facilities around the world. New solutions are emerging all the time from companies like Steribin, whose Pulsed Light tunnels are designed for the disinfection of airport security bins and CleanBeam, whose foot sanitization equipment is aimed at improving the health and safety in food processing facilities.

Meanwhile, food researchers found that Pulsed Light enhances the nutritional value of avocados while extending their shelf-life. Avocados join a growing list of foods enhanced by Pulsed Light that includes mushrooms, strawberries, and blueberries.

What will we see in 2022?

With so much happening last year and with Pulsed Light gaining so much attention, I can’t help wondering what the new year will bring…

  • Will we see Pulsed Light used in veterinaries and animal shelters to reduce the risk of disease? Portable or installed systems could decontaminate areas in off-hours, reducing the spread of illness for owners, pets, and vets.
  • What about keeping schools and colleges decontaminated and safe? Pulsed Light could disinfect rooms between classes or after hours.
  • Perhaps there’s a Pulsed Light-based product that grocery stores could use to decontaminate the floors. Think of all the dirty shoes and boots trudging in and out of our food stores!
  • Speaking of food, restaurants and cafeterias could use the technology to help keep employees and patrons healthy.
  • Speaking of health, what about drug stores and doctor’s offices? They’re the perfect place for germs and viruses to gather, so they should be the perfect application for a Pulsed Light solution.
  • How about cruise lines and airlines? These industries have struggled in the pandemic. Pulsed Light is worth looking into as a decontamination technology for this market. It could be a difference-maker in regaining public confidence.
  • Elevators, public restrooms, hair salons, fitness facilities are all potential areas where people gather and Pulsed Light disinfection could help to prevent illness.
  • How many experimental materials like perovskite are out there? Pulsed Light, with its high energy and low heat, improves and accelerates sintering, curing, annealing, and other processes on a wide range of materials. Breakthroughs are waiting to happen in this space.
  • Last but not least, there’s safe space travel to consider. Yes, I’m serious. NASA, ESA, and other organizations are careful to protect extraterrestrial environments from human contamination, and vice versa. Pulsed Light can be used to build reliable clean rooms that will be needed for the future of space exploration.

Dreams or reality?

This is only a partial list of the possibilities, and given recent history, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or more of them become reality in the coming year. XENON can’t develop all these application ideas on our own, but we are ready to work with researchers and OEMs who see an opportunity and want to partner with the company that pioneered the technology.

Please get in touch if you have a research or application that could use Pulsed Light. Whether it’s an idea with potential or a breakthrough waiting to happen, we’re ready to collaborate with you on the future.