The necessity of small water purification equipment has been increasing in recent years as a result of frequent natural disasters. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation treatment is an effective method for the disinfection of bacterial contaminants in water. As an emerging technology, disinfection by deep-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (DUV-LEDs) is promising. Few studies have used the point-source characteristics of LEDs and have instead replaced mercury vapor lamps with LEDs. Here, we demonstrate the instantaneous purification of contaminated water by combining the point source characteristics of DUV-LEDs with a water waveguide (WW). The principle is based on the WW region acting as an effective DUV disinfector, whereby a high UV dose in a confined WW region can be applied to bacterial contaminants in a short period of time (around one second). We demonstrate the effect of this DUV-LED WW disinfection technique by showing the results of 3-log disinfection levels of water contaminated with Escherichia coli
bacteria after a short treatment time. We believe that the combination of the point-source nature of DUV-LED emission, the water-waveguide effect, and a small photovoltaic cell paves the way toward environmentally friendly and emergency preparedness portable water purification equipment that instantaneously supplies clean water just before drinking.
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