A team of engineering professors from the University of Michigan has developed a futuristic device to kill germs using cold plasma. It looks like a device from the future - a small stick, from which a ray, lethal for all living things, breaks out. The development has already received an urgent grant from the US National Science Foundation, but it was still late for the fight against coronavirus.
This sanitizer uses the so-called cold plasma, for which the ionized environment is created not by heating, but by pumping atmospheric air through a strong electromagnetic field. It turns out a "soup of atoms" mixed with the remnants of molecules, in which the main active component is oxygen ions. They react with carbon and pull it out of molecules, thereby destroying the organic structure of microbes and viruses.
The authors say that the main advantage of their development is the possibility of processing soft surfaces and those materials that are difficult to disinfect by the usual methods. The absence of high temperatures, mechanical effects, toxic substances have a gentle effect on objects. In the future, instead of air, it will be possible to generate plasma from different gases, which will make it possible to selectively affect different forms of life.
Alas, the development of a commercial version of the sanitizer will take at least about a year. And in the current pandemic, it will no longer be of any use, although it itself has already become a powerful incentive for the development of innovative technologies that will certainly come in handy in the future.