Pixelated VLC-Backscattering for Self-Charging Indoor IoT Devices

Sihua Shao, Abdallah Khreishah, Hany Elgala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Visible light communication (VLC) backscatter has been proposed as a wireless access option for Internet of Things. However, the throughput of the state-of-the-art VLC backscatter is limited by simple single-carrier pulsed modulation scheme, such as ON-OFF keying (OOK). In this letter, a novel pixelated VLC backscatter is proposed and implemented to overcome the channel capacity limitation. In particular, multiple smaller VLC backscatters are integrated to generate multi-level signals, which enables the usage of advanced modulation schemes. Based on experimental results, rate adaptation at different communication distances can be employed to enhance the achievable data rate. Compared with OOK, the data rate can be tripled, when 8-pulse amplitude modulation is used at 2 m. In general, n-fold throughput enhancement is realized by utilizing n smaller VLC backscatters, while incurring negligible additional energy using the same device space as that of a single large backscatter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7752834
Pages (from-to)177-180
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Photonics Technology Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Backscatter
  • Internet-of-things
  • optical communication
  • optical reflection
  • optical signal processing
  • optical transmitter
  • visible light


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