Institute of Communications and Connected Systems


MARVEL; Multi-functional Polymer Light-Emitting Diodes with Visible Light Communications

Out of focus light source, next to someone streaming data to their phone and tablet

1 December 2016

Designing and demonstrating a full communication system using organic visible light communication devices.

Funder EPSRC
Amount £ 1 004 028

Project website http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk/

Research theme logos - Ubiquitous Connectivity, Infrastructures for Smart Services and Applications, Information and Data Processing
Research topics Visible Light Communications | Circuit design | FPGAs | Signal processing


Visible light communication (VLC) is an emerging technology that intends to enable high speed internet access primarily in the indoor environment and works on the principle of intensity modulation of existing solid-state lighting infrastructure often provided by light-emitting diodes (LEDs). VLC offers several key advantages over traditional radio-frequency based access networks including approximately 300 THz of license free bandwidth carried on visible wavelengths, ~10,000x larger than that available in radio, which is also substantially oversubscribed. According to the latest forecasts, mobile data traffic is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 47% between 2016–2021. Considering the highly-congested nature of the radio spectrum, a complementary solution is clearly required, and VLC is one of the leading candidates to provide the additional spectrum.

Our aims at ICCS, in collaboration with the both the Photonics Innovations Laboratory (Pi-Lab) and Organic Semiconductors and Nanostructures (OSN) groups at UCL, are to disrupt the conventional approaches to VLC, which have mostly been focused on extending the data rates supported by LED infrastructure. We are developing new approaches to VLC links including uplink technologies based on embedded intelligent displays using polymer LEDs (PLEDs), which are provided by OSN, and offer numerous advantages over traditional counterparts including unique mechanical characteristics such as flexibility and arbitrarily shaped photoactive areas. They can be deposited in any shape or pattern and hence, it is possible to build up large matrices of devices suitable for intelligent displays. In turn, this unlocks unique communications capabilities including massively parallel transmission. At UCLICS we are particularly focused on introducing high speed transmit and receiver circuits capable of multi-Gb/s transmission, embedded signal processing and advanced highly spectrally efficient modulation formats, leading to significant innovation across the VLC domain and beyond.



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