Assessing the Reliability of Energy Harvesting Terahertz Nanonetworks for Controlling Software-Defined Metamaterials


Electromagnetic nanonetworks operating in the terahertz (THz) frequency band are emerging as a promising technology for supporting a variety of nanoscale applications. At such scales, the use of batteries is in many cases infeasible, thus the nanonodes are envisioned to operate using only capacitors that rely on energy harvesting. This will result in constrained energy storage capacity with unpredictable charging rate, which will in turn yield non-periodic intermittent on-off behavior of the nanonodes. This paradigm is currently largely unexplored, hence it is challenging to make claims about the achievable network reliability. To provide initial insights, we investigate the reliability of nanoscale THz communication in a one-hop downlink broadcast scenario in face of intermittent on-off behavior of the receiving nanonodes. We do that because we believe that the reliable communication will be highly relevant for software-controlled metamaterial applications. Our results demonstrate the need for intelligent selection of energy levels for turning on and off the battery-less nanonodes. In addition and perhaps counter-intuitively, we demonstrate that the repetitions of packets substantially degrade the reliability of the considered nanonetwork.

6th ACM International Conference on Nanoscale Computing and Communication (NanoCom)