Re-configurable intelligent surface-based VLC receivers using tunable liquid-crystals: the Concept

Alain R. Ndjiongue, Telex M. N. Ngatched, Octavia A. Dobre, Harald Haas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Visible light communication (VLC) enables access to huge unlicensed bandwidth, a higher security level, and no radio frequency interference. With these advantages, VLC emerges as a complementary solution to radio frequency communications. VLC systems have primarily been designed for indoor scenarios with typical transmission distances between 2 and 5 m. Different designs would be required for larger distances. This article proposes for the first time, the use of a liquid crystal (LC)-based re-configurable intelligent surface (RIS) for improving the VLC signal detection and transmission range. An LC-based RIS presents multiple advantages, including the tunability of its photo-refractive parameters. Another advantage is its light amplification capabilities when under the influence of an externally applied field. In this article, we analyze an LC-based RIS structure to amplify the detected light and improve the VLC signal detection and transmission range. Results show that mixing LC with 4 to 8 wt% concentration of a dye such as the terthiophene (3T-2 MB) improves the VLC transmission range of about 0.20 to 1.08 m. This improvement can reach 6.56 m if we combine 8 wt% concentration of 3T-2 MB and 0.1 wt% concentration of trinitrofluorenone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3193-3200
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number10
Early online date16 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2021


  • Beer-Lambert law
  • dye-doped and polymer liquid crystals
  • radiative transfer equation (RTE)
  • re -configurable intelligent surface (RIS)
  • terthiophene (3T-2 MB)
  • trinitrofluorenone (TNF)
  • visible light communication (VLC)
  • VLC transmission range expansion


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