Feasibility Study on the Use of Printed OLEDs for Wireless Data and Power Transmission in Light-based Internet of Things (LIoT)

Visible light communication (VLC)-based Internet of Things (IoT) designs are rapidly gaining attention due to their unique communication-friendly features such as the ability to support high data rates, free-spectrum usage, and inherent security. In addition, the same infrastructure used by the VLC system can be exploited to support optical wireless power transmission (OWPT). The Light-based IoT (LIoT) concept encompasses both wireless data and power transmission. Recently, the use of printed electronics (PE) technology has been considered as a highly attractive approach to implementing the LIoT concept, as PE will allow manufacturing energy-autonomous, low-cost and sustainable nodes that can be attached to virtually any object. In this paper, we study the problem of communication and power transfer purposes in the uplink direction. In particular, we carry out a feasibility study comparing the use of OLEDs and conventional LEDs for the mentioned tasks. The performance of actual state-of-the-art printed optical components are measured, evaluated, and contrasted with that of similar conventional (non-printed) components. We found that printed OLEDs, though exhibiting sub-optimal performance, offer a robust performance to be used as key components in the implementation of the LIoT concept.