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Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editor: Gregory W. Faris
  • Vol. 3, Iss. 1 — Jan. 29, 2008

Lensless light focusing with the centric marine diatom Coscinodiscus walesii

Luca De Stefano, Ilaria Rea, Ivo Rendina, Mario De Stefano, and Luigi Moretti  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 15, Issue 26, pp. 18082-18088 (2007)

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In this work, we report on the light focusing ability exploited by the microshell of a marine organism: the Coscinodiscus wailesii diatom. A 100 µm spot size of a red laser beam is narrowed up to less than 10 µm at a distance of 104 µm after the transmission through the regular geometry of the diatom structure, which thus acts as a microlens. Numerical simulations of the electromagnetic field propagation show a good qualitative agreement with the experimental results. The focusing effect is due to the superposition of the waves scattered by the holes present on the surface of the diatom valve. Very interesting applications in micro-optic devices are feasible due to the morphological and biological characteristic of these unicellular organisms.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics and biotechnology
(170.1420) Medical optics and biotechnology : Biology
(220.3630) Optical design and fabrication : Lenses
(160.1435) Materials : Biomaterials

ToC Category:
Medical Optics and Biotechnology

Original Manuscript: August 22, 2007
Revised Manuscript: October 29, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: November 7, 2007
Published: December 18, 2007

Virtual Issues
Vol. 3, Iss. 1 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Luca De Stefano, Ilaria Rea, Ivo Rendina, Mario De Stefano, and Luigi Moretti, "Lensless light focusing with the centric marine diatom Coscinodiscus walesii," Opt. Express 15, 18082-18088 (2007)

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