Q atar Foundation established Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) in 2006 as part of its ongoing commitment to establish Qatar as a knowledge-based economy. Qatar Foundation views research as essential to national and regional growth; as the means to diversify the nation’s economy, enhance educational offerings and develop areas that affect the community, such as health and environment. 

Qatar National Research Fund aims to foster original, competitively selected research in More...


  • Time Zone: Arabia Time Zone UTC+03:00
  • Address: PO Box 5825, Doha, Qatar

أنشأت مؤسسة قطر الصندوق القطري لرعاية البحث العلمي عام 2006 كجزء من التزامها المستمر بإقامة الاقتصاد القائم على المعرفة في دولة قطر. وتولي مؤسسة قطر للبحوث أهمية قصوى استنادًا إلى دورها الحيوي في تحقيق النمو سواء داخل قطر أو على الصعيد الإقليمي، وكونها وسيلة لتنويع اقتصاد البلاد، وتعزيز الفرص التعليمية، وتطوير المجالات المؤثرة في المجتمع كالصحة والبيئة.

ويهدف الصندوق القطري لرعاية البحث العلمي إلى تشجيع الأبحاث المبتكرة المختارة على أساس تنافسي في

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Tuesday, March 21, 2023 11:41 PM Doha Time

An Innovative Solution to the Problem of Disinfecting Fingerprint Scanners

An Innovative Solution to the Problem of Disinfecting Fingerprint Scanners

QNRF-funded solution is timely, as social and economic activities resume

The virus responsible for COVID-19 is highly robust and can survive on glass surfaces for as long as 28 days in controlled conditions. While experts in the scientific research community have varying opinions about how much this should be a matter of concern for COVID-19 transmission under normal conditions, these findings reinforce the importance of sanitizing and wiping down surfaces.

The need for sanitization is especially important for surfaces with which people come into contact regularly, as they pose a larger risk of cross-contamination. A fingerprint scanner is one such surface used by a large volume of people in offices, hospitals, educational institutions, and in other sectors. As Qatar moves towards returning to normal levels of activity in social and professional spaces, these scanners are a potential source of cross-contamination not only for the coronavirus but other germs and viruses as well.

To develop an innovative and viable solution for effectively disinfecting fingerprint scanners, Dr. Deepalekshmi Ponnamma and her team from the Center for Advanced Materials received a research grant under Qatar National Research Fund’s Rapid Response Call (RRC).

Dr. Ponnamma and her team decided to pursue this project because the option of disinfecting fingerprint scanners manually is not feasible, as cleaning the surface after every single use is a laborious, inefficient, and time-consuming practice. Moreover, such high rates of disinfecting scanners can adversely affect their functioning and even damage their internal electrical hardware.

Upon receiving the RRC grant, the awarded researchers set to work and successfully developed a disinfecting unit that can disinfect the scanner surface after every use. The innovative technology simultaneously uses ultraviolet (UV) light and heat to ensure complete disinfection of the glass surface in a short time.

The disinfecting unit will be installed in a portable and quick-fix top mount structure, which will have an automatic shutter to disinfect the biometric scan glass. To ensure that this technology can be implemented around the world, the scanner disinfection unit has been designed according to universally accepted standards to emit the appropriate wavelength and intensity of UV rays.

The research team built the disinfecting device with a heating coil and fans to generate and spread the heat, along with a UV chamber to produce the UV light (Figure 1). After the finger scan of each person, the device, fitted with a proximity sensor, will automatically move towards the scanner and disinfect the surface. The whole process will take less than a minute, with the next user being indicated by display signals (Figure 2).

«March 2023»