The University of Southampton

Biomimetically Inspired Nano-photonics

Pinwheel and Sunflower photonic quasicrystals displaying infinite rotational symmetry
Nanophotonics and Biomimetics, Biomimetics

Over 500 million years of evolution have created highly optimised optical solutions for the survival of the species. By definition the optical devices created are fabricated in organic materials, so further optimisation is possible by utilising materials that cannot be incorporated by living systems. Our research searches the living world for innovative optical designs and then analyses Nature's solution to a particular optical problem. Nature's solution is then modelled and improved by a combination of incorporating advanced materials and evolutionary algorithms (which take Nature's current day solution further into the future). As an example of the practical application of this research, a study of the structural colour produced by the Morpho Rhetenor butterfly wing led to the creation of a new type of photonic crystal structure for which a Patent has been granted.

Primary investigator

  • Professor Greg Parker

Secondary investigator

  • Michael Pollard

Associated research groups

  • Nano Research Group
  • Southampton Nanofabrication Centre
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