Light transmission of the marine diatom Coscinodiscus wailesii

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 2012, 8339
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The results of a detailed investigation of light transmission behavior of a centric marine diatom species Coscinodiscus wailesii are reported. We measured 3-dimentional intensity distributions of both broadband and monochromatic light transmitted through individual valves of the diatom in air and water. Cross-sectional intensity profiles of transmitted light indicates valves of C. wailesii can concentrate light into certain regions. At a distance from the valve shorter than its diameter, light intensities close to the optical axis are relatively higher than those in the surrounds; at a longer distance, transmitted light intensities display ring-shaped profiles. The distance showing this light concentration characteristic becomes shorter as the wavelength of incoming light goes up. These results may offer insight into the understanding of biological functions of diatom frustules' intricate structures and inspire new optical biomimetic applications. © 2012 SPIE.
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