Intelligent Reflecting Surface Assisted Free-Space Optical Communications

Vahid Jamali, Hedieh Ajam, Marzieh Najafi, Bernhard Schmauss, Robert Schober, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Free-space optical (FSO) systems are able to offer the high data-rate, secure, and cost-efficient communication links required for applications such as wireless front- and backhauling for 5G and 6G communication networks. Despite the substantial advancement of FSO systems over the past decades, the requirement of a line-of-sight connection between transmitter and receiver remains a key limiting factor for their deployment. In this article, we discuss the potential role of intelligent reflecting surfaces (IRSs) as a solution to relax this requirement. We present an overview of existing optical IRS technologies; compare optical IRSs with radio frequency IRSs and optical relays; and identify various open problems for future research on IRS-assisted FSO communications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Communications Magazine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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