Researchers to improve LED optical communications

1 min read

Researchers in the UK and China are exploring how organic semiconductors, colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) and metal halide perovskites could be used in LED optical communications systems.

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

LED (light-emitting diode) communications techniques allow computing devices such as mobile phones to communicate with each other using infrared light. 

According to the research team, LED techniques are underused because in its current state, LED transmits data at slower speeds than other wireless technologies such as light-fidelity (Li-Fi).

Comprising researchers from Surrey and Cambridge Universities alongside partners from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, the team aims to improve performance and efficiency of these LEDs. Potential applications have been considered in on-chip interconnects and Li-Fi.

“There’s excitement surrounding CQDs and perovskites because they offer great promise for low-power, cost-effective and scalable communications modules,” said Dr Aabo Ren, co-first author of the paper and visiting postdoctoral researcher at Surrey University.

£3m quantum technology grant for Surrey University

“Although the conventional inorganic thin-film technologies are likely to continue to play a dominant role in optical communications, we believe that LEDs based on these materials can play a complementary role that could have a sizeable impact on the industry.”

According to Professor Jiang Wu, the corresponding author from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, photonic devices for the Internet of Things (IoT) and 6G communication systems need to be high-speed, low-cost and easy to integrate. 

“Organic semiconductors, CQDs and perovskites are promising materials that could be used to complement and/or compete with conventional inorganic counterparts in particular optoelectronic applications,” he said in a statement.

Dr Wei Zhang, the corresponding author and senior lecturer from Surrey University added that IoT and 6G communication systems represent a trillion-dollar market in the next few years.