Southampton Physics Colloquia

Bio-Inspired Photonics: from nature to applications
Dr Silvia Vignolini University of Cambridge 14:30, Friday 22 February 2019
Physics Seminar Room (Building 46/5081)
The most brilliant colours in nature are obtained by structuring transparent materials on the scale of the wavelength of visible light. By controlling/designing the dimensions of such nanostructures, it is possible to achieve extremely intense colourations over the entire visible spectrum without using pigments or colorants. Colour obtained through structure, namely structural colour, is widespread in the animal and plant kingdom. Such natural photonic nanostructures are generally synthesised in ambient conditions using a limited range of biopolymers. Given these limitations, an amazing range of optical structures exists: from very ordered photonic structures, to partially disordered, to completely random ones.

In this seminar, Prof Vignolini will introduce some striking example of natural photonic structures and review recent advances to fabricate bio-mimetic photonic structures using the same material as nature. Biomimetic with cellulose-based architectures enables us to fabricate novel photonic structures using low cost materials in ambient conditions. Importantly, it also allows us to understand the biological processes at work during the growth of these structures in plants.

  


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