Janis Sperga

Project: Low-Power VLC Transmitter Design

Host: pureLiFi (United Kingdom)

PhD: University of Strathclyde (UK)

Supervisor: Dr. H. Haas

Ever since I was a little kid, I was fascinated by natural sciences and humanities - rummaging and flicking through every encyclopedia that I could get my hands on. Physics, history, geography, philosophy, mathematics, literature, you name it. Every subject for me was fresh and exciting to wrap my head around and as a curious child, I always strived to learn something new and challenge myself to understand previously to me intangible topics.

Eventually, this determination led me to take up physics bachelor studies at the University Latvia, which were followed by my master's studies at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. Both in Latvia and Germany my studies and research focused on optics and photonics, as well as nanotechnology.

Optics became my favorite study & research topic because it holds many unresolved mysteries and untapped potential that can unlock further exciting developments that would affect a broad spectrum of technologies, including visible light communication (VLC). One can even summarize that if the 19th century was driven by steam technology and 20th by electronics, then 21st is driven by photonics.

Therefore, for me, being a part of the ENLIGHT'EM project is an exciting opportunity to do research in a pioneering field that can change paradigms in communication technology in years to come.

Outside my academic interests, I enjoy history, travelling, trivia, philosophy, basketball, and good music is always a must for every day.

In recent years Li-Fi (short for light fidelity) has emerged as an exciting communication technology that complements conventional radio-frequency ones like 5G, Wi-Fi in the ever-growing mobile device market.

Nevertheless, the long-term commercial success of Li-Fi depends on the performance of its optical front-end devices - transmitters and receivers (together transceivers). The main performance benchmarks being data rate and power efficiency that must meet 5G standard. It has been shown that off-shelf LEDs can achieve data rates (15.73 Gbps)  comparable to 5G standard (20 Gbps). While these results are promising for commercial use of Li-Fi, the trade-off for this data rate is high power consumption. Therefore, it is of paramount importance and challenge to develop low power consuming transceivers that can produce data rate comparable to 5G standard.

My main research goal is to address this problem and develop low-power consuming (few hundreds of mW), power-efficient, and high data rate transceiver, whose benchmark performance is comparable to 5G standards. Furthermore, I will investigate the downscaling options of transceivers for better integrability into mobile devices. Lastly, other properties (degrees-of-freedom) of light (e.g., the polarization of light) will be investigated for Li-Fi application.