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Department of Chemistry

 
Portrait of sv319

Photonic structures in Nature and Bio-mimetic Materials

Research Interests

Photonic structures in nature

Colour in nature is everywhere: animals and plants develop structures on sub-micrometer scale to manipulate light and to obtain brilliant and iridescent colours. This kind of colouration, named structural since it is not obtained using pigmentation, results from various mechanisms, including multilayered materials, crystalline inclusions and surface diffraction gratings. Pollia condensata fruits are one of the most striking examples of  strong iridescent colouration in plants. The colour is caused by Bragg-reflection of helicoidally stacked cellulose microfibrils, which form multilayers in the cell walls of the epicarp. The bright blue colour of this fruit is more intense than that of many previously described biological materials. Uniquely in nature, the reflected colour differs from cell to cell, as the layer thicknesses in the multilayer stack vary, giving the fruit a striking pixelated or ’pointillist’ appearance.

PNAS 109, 15712–15715, (2012)
 

Another striking example is the white of the Cyphochilus beetle which is native to South-East Asia, is whiter than paper, thanks to ultra-thin scales which cover its body. A new investigation of the optical properties of these scales has shown that they are able to scatter light more efficiently than any other biological tissue known, which is how they are able to achieve such a bright whiteness.

Scientific Reports 4, 6075 doi:10.1038/srep06075 (2014)

Funding

  1. BBSRC David Phillips fellowship
  2. Next Generation fellowship
  3. Isaac Newton Trust

Selected Publications

[1] Pointillist structural colour in Pollia fruit

S. Vignolini, P. J. Rudall, A. V. Rowland, A. Reed, E. Moyroud, R. B. Faden, J. J. Baumberg, B. J. Glover, U. Steiner; PNAS 109, 15712–15715, (2012). 

[2] Controlled bio-inspired self-assembly of cellulose-based chiral reflectors 

A. G. Dumanli, G. Kamita, J. Landman, H. van der Kooij, B. J. Glover, J. J. Baumberg, U Steiner, S. Vignolini;  Adv. Opt. Mat. DOI: 10.1002/adom.201400112  (2014)
 

[3]Bright-White Beetle scales Optimise Multiple Scattering of Light

M. Burresi, L. Cortese, L. Pattelli, M. Kolle, P.Vukusic, D. Wiersma, U. Steiner, and S.Vignolini; Scientific Reports 4, 6075 doi:10.1038/srep06075 (2014)

 

Publications

The limitations of extending nature’s color palette in correlated, disordered systems
G Jacucci, S Vignolini, L Schertel
– Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
(2020)
117,
23345
A heterogeneous microbial consortium producing short-chain fatty acids from lignocellulose
RL Shahab, S Brethauer, MP Davey, AG Smith, S Vignolini, JS Luterbacher, MH Studer
– Science
(2020)
369,
1073
Disordered wax platelets on Tradescantia pallida leaves create golden shine
GT van de Kerkhof, L Schertel, RN Poon, G Jacucci, BJ Glover, S Vignolini
– Faraday Discussions
(2020)
Viburnum tinus Fruits Use Lipids to produce Metallic Blue Structural Colour
R Middleton, M Sinnott-Armstrong, Y Ogawa, G Jacucci, E Moyroud, PJ Rudall, C Prychid, M Conejero, BJ Glover, MJ Donoghue, S Vignolini
– Current biology : CB
(2020)
Hereditary Character of Photonics Structure in Pachyrhynchus sarcitis Weevils: Color Changes via One Generation Hybridization
Y Chang, Y Ogawa, G Jacucci, OD Onelli, HY Tseng, S Vignolini
– Advanced Optical Materials
(2020)
8,
2000432
Complex photonic response reveals three-dimensional self-organization of structural coloured bacterial colonies.
L Schertel, GT van de Kerkhof, G Jacucci, L Catón, Y Ogawa, BD Wilts, CJ Ingham, S Vignolini, VE Johansen
– J R Soc Interface
(2020)
17,
20200196
Retrieving the co-assembly pathway of composite cellulose nanocrystal photonic films from their angular optical response
B Frka-Petesic, JA Kelly, G Jacucci, G Guidetti, G Kamita, NP Crossette, WY Hamad, MJ MacLachlan, S Vignolini
– Advanced Materials
(2020)
32,
1906889
Plant-Inspired Polyaleuritate–Nanocellulose Composite Photonic Films
JA Heredia-Guerrero, CA Williams, G Guidetti, P Cataldi, L Ceseracciu, D Debellis, A Athanassiou, S Guzman-Puyol, WY Hamad, S Vignolini
– ACS Applied Polymer Materials
(2020)
2,
1528
Bionic 3D printed corals.
D Wangpraseurt, S You, F Azam, G Jacucci, O Gaidarenko, M Hildebrand, M Kühl, AG Smith, MP Davey, A Smith, DD Deheyn, S Chen, S Vignolini
– Nature Communications
(2020)
11,
1748
Cellulose Nanocrystal-Templated Tin Dioxide Thin Films for Gas Sensing
A Ivanova, B Frka-Petesic, A Paul, T Wagner, AN Jumabekov, Y Vilk, J Weber, J Schmedt Auf der Günne, S Vignolini, M Tiemann, D Fattakhova-Rohlfing, T Bein
– ACS applied materials & interfaces
(2020)
12,
12639
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Research Interest Groups

Telephone number

01223 761490 (shared)

Email address

sv319@cam.ac.uk