Lights could be the future of the internet and data transmission

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Fast data transmission could be delivered in homes and offices through light emitting diode (LED) bulbs, complementing existing communication technologies and networks.

New internet technologies are being rapidly refined, and LED-based communication links are expected to be used in services and scenarios including Light-fidelity (Li-Fi), underwater communications, moderate- to high-speed photonic connections and various ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) devices.

study, led by the Universities of Surrey and Cambridge and published in the journal Nature Photonics, has investigated how to release high-speed photonic sources using materials known as metal-halide perovskites. These semiconductors are studied with LEDs for their excellent optoelectronic properties and low-cost processing methods.

“IoT devices have the potential to add significant value to industry and the global economy,” said corresponding author Dr Wei Zhang from the University of Surrey. “In this market, costs and compatibility are often prioritised over data transmission speed and scientists are looking for alternative ways to reduce energy consumption per bit and improve compactness while simultaneously working on improving the speed of data connection.

“In our study, we have shown how metal-halide perovskites could provide a cost-efficient and powerful solution to make LEDs which have enormous potential to increase their bandwidths into the gigahertz levels.

“Our investigations will accelerate the development of high-speed perovskite photodetectors and continuous wave-pumped perovskite lasers, opening up new avenues for advancements in optoelectronic technologies.”

“We provided the first study to clarify the mechanisms behind achieving high-speed perovskite LEDs, representing a significant step toward the realisation of perovskite light sources for next-generation data communications,” said co-first author Hao Wang, a PhD candidate in Cambridge’s Department of Engineering. “The ability to achieve solution-processed perovskite emitters on silicon substrates also paves the way for their integration with micro-electronics platforms, presenting new opportunities for seamless integration and advancement in the field of data communications.”

The project involved researchers from Oxford, Bath, Warwick, UCL, EMPA and UESTC.

Aobo Ren, Hao Wang et al. ‘High-bandwidth perovskite photonic sources on silicon.’ Nature Photonics (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41566-023-01242-9

Adapted from a University of Surrey press release.

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