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Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editor: Gregory W. Faris
  • Vol. 1, Iss. 5 — May. 5, 2006

Color-selecting reflectors inspired from biological periodic multilayer structures

O. Deparis, C. Vandenbem, M. Rassart, V. L. Welch, and J.-P. Vigneron  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 14, Issue 8, pp. 3547-3555 (2006)

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We propose a semi-infinite 1-D photonic crystal approach for designing artificial reflectors which aim to reproduce color changes with the angle of incidence found in biological periodic multilayer templates. We show that both the dominant reflected wavelength and the photonic bandgap can be predicted and that these predictions agree with exact calculations of reflectance spectra for a finite multilayer structure. In order to help the designer, the concept of spectral richness of angle-tuned color-selecting reflectors is introduced and color changes with angle are displayed in a chromaticity diagram. The usefulness of the photonic crystal approach is demonstrated by modelling a biological template (found in the cuticle of Chrysochora vittata beetle) and by designing a bio-inspired artificial reflector which reproduces the visual aspect of the template. The bio-inspired novel aspect of the design relies on the strong unbalance between the thicknesses of the two layers forming the unit cell.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(160.4890) Materials : Organic materials
(260.2110) Physical optics : Electromagnetic optics
(260.3160) Physical optics : Interference
(330.1690) Vision, color, and visual optics : Color

ToC Category:
Photonic Crystals

Original Manuscript: March 1, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: April 7, 2006
Published: April 17, 2006

Virtual Issues
Vol. 1, Iss. 5 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

O. Deparis, C. Vandenbem, M. Rassart, V. Welch, and J.-P. Vigneron, "Color-selecting reflectors inspired from biological periodic multilayer structures," Opt. Express 14, 3547-3555 (2006)

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  1. Serge Berthier, Les couleurs des Papillons, ou l’impérative beauté : propriétés optiques des ailes de papillons (Springer-Verlag, Paris, 2000). [PubMed]
  2. S. Kinoshita and S. Yoshioka (Eds), Structural Colors in Biological Systems: Principles and Applications (Osaka Univ. Press, Osaka, 2005).
  3. J.-P. Vigneron, M. Rassart, C. Vandenbem, V. Lousse, O. Deparis, L. P. Biró, D. Dedouaire, A. Cornet, P. Defrance, "Spectral filtering of visible light by the cuticle of metallic woodboring beetles and microfabrication of a matching bioinspired material," to be published in Phys. Rev. E, 2006.
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  7. V. L. Welch, J.-P. Vigneron, A. R. Parker, "The cause of coloration in the ctenophore Beroë cucumis," Current Biology,  15, R985 (2005). [CrossRef]
  8. J.P. Vigneron, J.-F. Colomer, N. Vigneron and V. Lousse, "Natural layer-by-layer photonic structure in the squamae of Hoplia coerulea (Coleoptera)," Phys. Rev. E 72, 061904 (2005). [CrossRef]
  9. B. Gralak, G. Tayeb, S. Enoch, "Morpho butterflies wings color modeled with lamellar grating theory," Opt. Express 9, 567 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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