A couple of teen geniuses from Hong Kong have invented a product that could revolutionize the world of hygiene and infection control. They’ve created a door handle that instantly destroys germs every time it is touched by human hands.
The two kids – 17-year-old Sun Ming (‘Simon’) Wong and 18-year-old King Pong (‘Michael’) Li – are students at Tam Lee Lai Fun Memorial Secondary School, in Tuen Mun, China. They realised that everyday objects such as doorknobs, handrails, shopping cart handles, and counter-tops are breeding grounds for millions of germs, so they set out to explore the possibility of creating self-disinfecting surfaces that remain germ-free all the time.
After considerable research, Simon and Michael found out that titanium dioxide is an amazing bacteria-killer. So they ground the mineral into a very fine powder to use as a coating for the handle. They also discovered that titanium dioxide is more effective when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays. This posed a challenge: sunlight is a natural source of UV rays, but door handles are generally used indoors. So they had to come up with an energy-efficient artificial source of UV rays.