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Submarine communication

Metamaterial accelerates LED blinking speed 76-fold and increases brightness 80-fold

LIU RESEARCH GROUP / UC SAN DIEGOMetamaterial accelerates LED blinking speed 76-fold and increases brightness 80-foldLIU RESEARCH GROUP / UC SAN DIEGO

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a new high-speed blinking LED technology using blue and green LEDs that might improve underwater optical communication and increase bandwidth. In an article published in Nature Nanotechnology in January 2014, the research group coordinated by Professor Zhaowei Liu stated that a metamaterial, which is a material created artificially and without comparison in nature, increased the brilliance of an organic molecule used as a basis for building organic LEDs (OLEDs). Consisting of layers of silicon and silver, the nanomaterial accelerates the speed at which the molecule blinks 76-fold and increases its brightness 80-fold. According to the researcher, blue and green light are absorbed by water at a lower rate, which would allow communication on the open seas over longer distances than those currently possible. Thus, information could be sent via optical channels between ships and submarines, for example, or between submarines and divers. If all goes well, the system could replace submarine acoustic communication methods used for short distances, which are limited by the low data transmission rate.