Portable Thermal Sterilizer for Surgical Masks with Laser Induced Graphene


Surgical masks haven been proven to be effect for mitigating the spread of spread of respiration diseases, such as COVID-19. Newly reported variants, such as Delta and Omicon have a higher spread rate and people might be infected by inhaling a fewer loading of viruses. Therefore, more frequent sterilization of surgical masks is needed to protect the wearers. A flexible and portable heater for sterilizing the SARS-CoV-2 viruses within an ultra-short time, while maintaining the mask performance.

  • Portable Thermal Sterilizer for Surgical Masks with Laser Induced Graphene
Commercialisation opportunities
Technology licensing agreement
Problem addressed

Frequent disposal increases the economic and environmental burdens, as native masks lack the capabilities of sterilization. Thermal sterilization has been demonstrated effective for decontaminating the viruses and bacteria using ovens. However, a portable and compact sterilization device is still lacking to sterilize the existing commercial surgical masks.

  • Low-cost, flexible, and efficient dual-mode mask sterilizer, utilizing both solar and electrical energies.
  • The roll-to-roll compatible laser induced graphene will be produced with commercially available polyimide films.
Key impact
  • Low-cost for raw materials and laser machines.
  • Highly scalable production (up to 3000 mm/s laser scanning rate).
  • Energy saving for outdoor sunlight sterilization.
  • Highly compatible for indoor sterilization with Type-C USB charger or outdoor sunlight.
  • Portable UV mask sterilizers


  • US provisional filing No.: 63/325601
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) (https://hkust.edu.hk/) is a world-class research intensive university that focuses on science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. Over 80% of our research work were rated “Internationally excellent” or “world leading” in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee. We were ranked 3rd in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2022, and our graduates were ranked 23rd worldwide and among the best from universities from Asia in Global University Employability Survey 2021.