Structural colours through photonic crystals

Elsevier Science Bv
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Physica B: Condensed Matter, 2003, 338 (1-4), pp. 182 - 185
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We discuss two examples of living creatures using photonic crystals to achieve iridescent colouration. The first is the sea mouse (Aphroditidae, Polychaeta), which has a hexagonal close packed structure of holes in its spines and lower-body felt, while the second is the jelly fish Bolinopsis infundibulum, which has an oblique array of high index inclusions in its antennae. We show by measurements and optical calculations that both creatures can achieve strong colours despite having access only to weak refractive index contrast.
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