Optical Biomimetics - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781845698027, 9780857097651

Optical Biomimetics

1st Edition

Materials and Applications

Editors: Maryanne Large
Hardcover ISBN: 9781845698027
eBook ISBN: 9780857097651
Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
Published Date: 24th September 2012
Page Count: 256
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Table of Contents

Contributor contact details

Woodhead Publishing Series in Electronic and Optical Materials


Chapter 1: Natural photonic structures: an overview


1.1 Introduction

1.2 Photonic structures found in nature

1.3 Examples of optical biomimetic devices

1.4 Biomimetic approaches to fabrication of optical devices

1.5 Conclusion

1.6 Acknowledgements

Chapter 2: Optical applications of biomolecules


2.1 Introduction: biomimetics and biotechnology

2.2 Retinylidene proteins for optical devices

2.3 Applications of bacteriorhodopsin

2.4 Enhancing bacteriorhodopsin for device applications

2.5 Conclusions and future trends

2.6 Acknowledgements

Chapter 3: Polarisation effects in natural photonic structures and their applications


3.1 Introduction

3.2 Principles of polarisation

3.3 Experimental techniques to study polarisation

3.4 Polarisation structures in insects

3.5 Bio-inspired applications: anti-counterfeiting patterns

3.6 Conclusion

Chapter 4: Biomimetic nanostructures for anti-reflection (AR) devices


4.1 Introduction

4.2 Anti-reflection (AR)

4.3 Gradient refractive index structures

4.4 Biomimetic photonic and anti-reflecting nanostructures

4.5 Future trends and conclusions

4.6 Acknowledgements

4.8 Appendix: glossary of terms

Chapter 5: Control of iridescence in natural photonic structures: the case of butterfly scales


5.1 Introduction to structural colour

5.2 Types of structural colour in butterflies

5.3 Control of iridescence

5.4 Perspectives on butterfly biomimetics

Chapter 6: Fabrication of nanostructures using natural synthesis: optical materials using silk


6.1 Introduction

6.2 Silk optics and photonics

6.3 Silk electronics and optoelectronics

6.4 Conclusion

Chapter 7: Fluorescence control in natural green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based photonic structures of reef corals


7.1 Introduction

7.2 Green fluorescent protein (GFP) structure and diversity

7.3 Photoactive fluorescent proteins (PAFPs)

7.4 Conclusion



Optical biomimetics, the study of natural systems to inspire novel solutions to problems in optical technologies, has attracted growing interest. Optical biomimetics reviews key research in this area, focusing on the techniques and approaches used to characterise and mimic naturally occurring optical effects.

Beginning with an overview of natural photonic structures, Optical biomimetics goes on to discuss optical applications of biomolecules, such as retinylidene and bacteriorhodopsin, polarisation effects in natural photonic structures and their applications, and biomimetic nanostructures for anti-reflection (AR) devices. Control of iridescence in natural photonic structures is explored through the case of butterfly scales, alongside a consideration of nanostructure fabrication using natural synthesis. The investigation into silk optical materials is followed by a final discussion of the control of florescence in natural photonic structures.

With its distinguished editor and international team of expert contributors, Optical biomimetics is a valuable guide for scientists and engineers in both academia and industry who are already studying biomimetics, and a fascinating introduction for those who wish to move into this interesting new field.

Key Features

  • Reviews key research in optical biomimetics, focusing on the techniques and approaches used to characterise and mimic naturally-occurring optical effects
  • Discusses optical applications of biomolecules, such as retinylidene and bacteriorhodopsin
  • Explores the control of iridescence in natural photonic structures through the case of butterfly scales


Physical scientists and engineers who are either already studying biomemtics, or who wish to move into this interesting new field; Researchers in industry and academia


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© Woodhead Publishing 2012
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About the Editors

Maryanne Large Editor

Dr Maryanne Large is a physicist with extensive experience in optics and optical materials. She has a particular interest in optical microstructures, and has studied them in butterflies, and used them in microstructured optical fibres. She is currently a research Manager at CiSRA (Canon Information Systems Research Australia) and a member of staff at the University of Sydney’s Institute of Photonics and Optical Sciences (IPOS).

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Sydney, Australia