Diffusion-based physical channel identification in molecular nanonetworks

Nora Garralda, Ignacio Llatser, Albert Cabellos-Aparicio, Eduard Alarcón, Massimiliano Pierobon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Nanonetworking is an emerging field of research at the intersection of nanotechnology and communication networks. Molecular Communication (MC) is a bio-inspired paradigm, where nanonetworks, i.e., the interconnection of nanodevices, are implemented based on the exchange of molecules. Within this paradigm, one of the most promising techniques is diffusion-based MC, which relies on free diffusion to transport the molecules from a transmitter to a receiver. In this work, we explore the main characteristics of diffusion-based MC through the use of N3Sim, a physical simulation framework for MC which allows the simulation of the physics underlying the diffusion of molecules in different scenarios. Through the results obtained with N3Sim, the Linear Time Invariant (LTI) property is proven to be a valid assumption for the normal diffusion-based MC scenario. Moreover, diffusion-based noise is observed and evaluated with reference to existing stochastic models. Furthermore, the optimal pulse shape for diffusion-based MC is found to be a narrow spike. Finally, four different pulse-based coding techniques are compared in terms of the available bandwidth, ISI and energy consumption for communication; On-Off Keying is found to be the most suitable scheme in the evaluated scenario.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-204
Number of pages9
JournalNano Communication Networks
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Channel identification
  • Diffusion
  • Diffusion-based Molecular Communication
  • Nanonetworks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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