UV LED Technology for Industrial and Consumer Applications

RayVio, a Boston University spin-out company, has developed powerful and efficient Ultraviolet LED (light emitting diode) technology that can disinfect large areas without chemicals or costly consumables.


Germs are all around us. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in any given day, one in 25 hospital patients has a healthcare-related infection. In 2011, 75,000 of those infections were fatal.

Ultraviolet technology is used in a broad range of applications to fight germs, including material curing, healthcare, and disinfection and sterilization of air, surfaces, and water. But the most widely used UV light source has been the mercury lamp, which has major drawbacks, including its large size, mercury content, and power consumption.


As a doctoral candidate at Boston University, Yitao Liao co-developed a UV LED technology that could be absorbed by the DNA, RNA, and proteins of microorganisms, triggering a photochemical reaction that breaks the DNA’s chemical bonds and stops germs from reproducing or growing. This new UV LED technology was smaller than other UV technologies on the market, more reliable, and toxin-free. It was also capable of replacing mercury lamps in many applications.


Liao co-developed this UV LED technology in the laboratory of Professor Theodore Moustakas, Electrical & Computer Engineering (ENG), a materials scientist who made seminal contributions to the creation of blue LEDs, which are widely used in countless cell phones, tablets, laptops, and lighting products.

With support from BU Technology Development, Liao filed the appropriate patents and licenses, raised funds, and founded RayVio a year after graduating to further develop and commercialize the team’s breakthrough technology.


The small size of RavVio’s UV LED technology makes it possible to incorporate the technology into a broad range of industrial and consumer applications. Today RayVio, based in Hayward, California, maintains a growing portfolio of customers who have integrated UV LED into products related to health, hygiene, and disinfection.