In recent years, light emitting diodes (LEDs) have gained renewed interest for use in visible light communication links (VLC) owing to their potential use as both high-quality power-efficient illumination sources as well as low-cost optical transmitters in free-space and guided-wave links. Applications that can benefit from their use include optical wireless systems (LiFi and Internet of Things), in-home and automotive networks, optical USBs and short-reach low-cost optical interconnects. However, VLC links suffer from the limited LED bandwidth (typically ~100 MHz). As a result, a combination of novel LED devices, advanced modulation formats and multiplexing methods are employed to overcome this limitation and achieve high-speed (>1 Gb/s) data transmission over such links. In this work, we present recent advances in the formation of high-aggregate-capacity low cost guided wave VLC links using stacked polymer multimode waveguides and matching micro-pixelated LED (μLED) arrays. μLEDs have been shown to exhibit larger bandwidths (>200 MHz) than conventional broad-area LEDs and can be formed in large array configurations, while multimode polymer waveguides enable the formation of low-cost optical links onto standard PCBs. Here, three- and four-layered stacks of multimode waveguides, as well as matching GaN μLED arrays, are fabricated in order to generate high-density yet low-cost optical interconnects. Different waveguide topologies are implemented and are investigated in terms of loss and crosstalk performance. The initial results presented herein demonstrate good intrinsic crosstalk performance and indicate the potential to achieve ≥ 0.5 Tb/s/mm2 aggregate interconnection capacity using this low-cost technology.
N. Bamiedakis, J. J. D. McKendry, E. Xie, E. Gu, M. D. Dawson, R. V. Penty, and I. H. White, "High-aggregate-capacity visible light communication links using stacked multimode polymer waveguides and micro-pixelated LED arrays," Proc. SPIE 10535, Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XXII, 105351N (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 01, 2018; Published: 23 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2290755.
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