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Journal of the Optical Society of America B

Journal of the Optical Society of America B


  • Editor: Grover Swartzlander
  • Vol. 31, Iss. 2 — Feb. 1, 2014
  • pp: 207–217

Design of structurally colored surfaces based on scalar diffraction theory

Villads Egede Johansen, Jacob Andkjær, and Ole Sigmund  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA B, Vol. 31, Issue 2, pp. 207-217 (2014)

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In this paper we investigate the possibility of controlling the color and appearance of surfaces simply by modifying the height profile of the surface on a nanoscale level. The applications for such methods are numerous: new design possibilities for high-end products, color engraving on any highly reflective surface, paint-free text and coloration, UV-resistant coloring, etc. In this initial study, the main focus is on finding a systematic way to obtain these results. For now the simulation and optimization is based on a simple scalar diffraction theory model. From the results, several design issues are identified: some colors are harder to optimize for than others, and some can be produced by only a few height levels, whereas others require more complex structures. It is shown that a wide range of results can be obtained.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(050.2770) Diffraction and gratings : Gratings
(230.1950) Optical devices : Diffraction gratings
(240.6700) Optics at surfaces : Surfaces
(330.1690) Vision, color, and visual optics : Color
(050.6624) Diffraction and gratings : Subwavelength structures
(330.7326) Vision, color, and visual optics : Visual optics, modeling

ToC Category:
Diffraction and Gratings

Original Manuscript: September 12, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: October 29, 2013
Published: January 6, 2014

Virtual Issues
Vol. 9, Iss. 4 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics
January 8, 2014 Spotlight on Optics

Villads Egede Johansen, Jacob Andkjær, and Ole Sigmund, "Design of structurally colored surfaces based on scalar diffraction theory," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 31, 207-217 (2014)

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