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LEDs offer new way to kill germs in water

Tiny wires grown on thin, flexible metal sheets can now give off an ultraviolet (UV) glow. One day, such wires might find use in disinfecting water or killing germs on instruments that had been used in surgery. These wires might even lead to bendable computer displays, scientists say. The nano-scale wires are light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, — devices that are very energy efficient. LEDs typically glow most strongly at only a few wavelengths. Those wavelengths will depend on what the LEDs had been made from, notes Roberto Myers. He’s a materials scientist at Ohio State University in Columbus. His team developed the new LED nanowires.

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