Duanni Huang, Parthiban Santhanam, and Rajeev J. Ram
Published in Optics Express, Vol. 22 Issue S7, pp.A1650-A1658 (2014)
An optical communication channel is constructed using a heated thermo-electrically pumped, high efficiency infrared light-emitting diode (LED). In these devices, electro-luminescent cooling is observed, resulting in greater than unity (> 100%) efficiency in converting electrical power to optical power. The average amount of electrical energy required to generate a photon (4.3 meV) is much less than the optical energy in that photon (520meV). Such a light source can serve as a test-bed for fundamental studies of energy-efficient bosonic communication channels. In this low energy consumption mode, we demonstrate data transmission at 3 kilobits per
second (kbps) with only 120 picowatts of input electric power. Although the channel employs a mid-infrared source with limited quantum efficiency, a binary digit can be communicated using 40 femtojoules with a bit error rate of 3 x 10−3.