Visible-light communications using a CMOS-controlled micro-light-emitting-diode array

Jonathan Mckendry, David Massoubre, Shuailong Zhang, B.R. Rae, R.P. Green, Erdan Gu, R.K. Henderson, A.E. Kelly, Martin Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

241 Citations (Scopus)


We report the high-frequency modulation of individual pixels in 88 arrays of III-nitride-based micro-pixellated light-emitting diodes, where the pixels within the array range from 14 to 84 m in diameter. The peak emission wavelengths of the devices are 370, 405, 450 and 520 nm, respectively. Smaller area micro-LED pixels generally exhibit higher modulation bandwidths than their larger area counterparts, which is attributed to their ability to be driven at higher current densities. The highest optical -3 dB modulation bandwidths from these devices are shown to be in excess of 400 MHz, which, to our knowledge, are the highest bandwidths yet reported for GaN LEDs. These devices are also integrated with a complementary metal-oxidesemiconductor (CMOS) driver array chip, allowing for simple computer control of individual micro-LED pixels. The bandwidth of the integrated micro-LED/CMOS pixels is shown to be up to 185 MHz; data transmission at bit rates up to 512 Mbit/s is demonstrated using on-off keying non return-to-zero modulation with a bit-error ratio of less than 110..10, using a 450 nmemitting 24 m diameter CMOS-controlled micro-LED. As the CMOS chip allows for up to 16 independent data inputs, this device demonstrates the potential for multi-Gigabit/s parallel data transmission using CMOS-controlled micro-LEDs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number1
Early online date8 Nov 2011
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2012


  • photonics
  • micro-light-emitting-diode array
  • lightwave technology
  • micro LEDs
  • modulation
  • optical transmitters
  • bandwith
  • arrays
  • CMOS integrated circuits


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