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Bio-inspired Photonics

Petals produce a ‘blue halo’ that helps bees to find flowers

'Messy' microscopic structures on the petals of some flowers manipulate light to produce a blue colour effect that is easily seen by bees.

Link to the publication

Photonic Structures in Nature and Bio-mimetic Materials

Nature’s most vivid colours rely on ordered, quasi-ordered or disordered structures with lattice constants or on scattering element sizes on the order of the wavelength of visible radiation. Knowledge of the interplay between the morphology, composition and optical appearance of biological photonic systems can provide inspiration for novel artificial photonic materials. 

Related Publications 

Analysing photonic structures in plants
S Vignolini, E Moyroud, BJ Glover, U Steiner – Journal of the Royal Society, Interface (2013) 10, 20130394
Natural helicoidal structures: morphology, self-assembly and optical properties
BD Wilts, HM Whitney, BJ Glover, U Steiner, S Vignolini – Materials Today: Proceedings (2014) 1, 177
Anisotropic Light Transport in White Beetle Scales
L Cortese, L Pattelli, F Utel, S Vignolini, M Burresi, DS Wiersma – Advanced Optical Materials (2015) 3, 1337
Invited Article: Chiral optics of helicoidal cellulose nanocrystal films
BD Wilts, AG Dumanli, R Middleton, P Vukusic, S Vignolini – APL Photonics (2017) 2, 040801

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