LiFi through reconfigurable intelligent surfaces: a new frontier for 6G?

Hanaa Abumarshoud, Lina Mohjazi, Octavia A. Dobre, Marco Di Renzo, Muhammad Ali Imran, Harald Haas

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Light fidelity (LiFi), which is based on visible light communications (VLC), is celebrated as a cutting-edge technological paradigm that is envisioned to be an indispensable part of 6G systems. Nonetheless, LiFi performance is subject to efficiently overcoming the line-of-sight blockage, whose adverse effect on the reliability of wireless reception becomes even more pronounced in highly dynamic environments, such as vehicular applications. Meanwhile, reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs) emerged recently as a revolutionary concept that transforms the physical propagation environment into a fully controllable and customisable space in a low-cost low-power fashion. We anticipate that the integration of RISs in LiFienabled networks will not only support blockage mitigation but will also provision complex interactions among network entities, and is hence manifested as a promising platform that enables a plethora of technological trends and new applications. In this article, for the first time in the open literature, we set the scene for a holistic overview of RIS-assisted LiFi systems. Specifically, we explore the underlying RIS architecture from the perspective of physics and present a forward-looking vision that outlines potential operational elements supported by RISenabled transceivers and RIS-enabled environments. Finally, we highlight major associated challenges and offer a look ahead toward promising future directions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-11
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine
Early online date15 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Nov 2021


  • LiFi
  • reconfigurable intelligent surfaces
  • a new frontier
  • 6G
  • light fidelity
  • optical transmitters
  • wavelength division multiplexing
  • metasurfaces
  • light emitting diodes
  • transceivers
  • optical receivers

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