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Photonic Structures in Plants

Photonic Structures in Plants

new ANKA seminar room, building 348, 2nd floor


Chemistry Department, University of Cambridge, UK



Inviting person:

Thomas van de Kamp, KIT-LAS


Silvia Vignolini



Color 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 coloration, named structural since it is not obtained using pigmentation, results from various mechanisms, including multilayered materials, crystalline inclusions and surface diffraction gratings. The study of structural colors in biological species has raised increasing interest in the scientific community, especially in the animal kingdom.

On the other hand, the study of structural color in plants, especially in flower, has been almost ignored in the literature until few years ago. Flowers and leaves use many different mechanisms to produce structural colors that can be also dynamically adapt to light depending on the illumination condition to which are imposed.

In this talk I will revise some example of photonic structures in plants, their biological role, optical properties and how this concept can be easily implemented for general photonic application.