Effects of LED device size on UV-C short-range LoS optical wireless communication

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We report systematic investigation of the device-size-dependent performance of ultraviolet C (UV-C) light emitting diodes (LEDs) for optical wireless communication (OWC). Utilizing 273 nm-wavelength devices with diameters in the range of 40 μ m to 300 μ m, the size-dependent electrical, optical and frequency response characteristics of AlGaN UV-C LEDs are analyzed. As the junction area scales down, the smaller devices present lower optical power but faster modulation speed. Based on a 1-m point-to-point OWC system, this study further explores the LED size effect on the communication performance including channel gain, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), theoretical Shannon capacity, achievable data transmission rate, relevant ratio, and spectral efficiency (SE). The system employing a 60 μ m diameter (micro) LED transmitter achieves the highest average SNR and SE accompanying a data transmission rate up to a 5.53 Gbps at the forward error correction floor of 3.8 ×10−3 . These results suggest an optimal device diameter of ∼ 60 μ m for further development of high-performance UV-C short-range line-of-sight (LoS) OWC.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7305108
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Photonics Journal
Issue number6
Early online date3 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • UV-C LEDs
  • size-dependent
  • optical wireless communications


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