Biogenic Scatterers, Mirrors, Multilayer Reflectors and Photonic Crystals. Futuristic Ancient Technologies

Lia Addadi, Benjamin Palmer, Dvir Gur, Anna Hirsch, Leslie Leiserowitz, Leeor Kronik, Dan Oron, Steve Weiner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Organisms are able to construct an array of optical "devices" including diffuse scatterers, broadband reflectors, tunable photonic crystals and mirrors by varying the size, morphology and arrangement of organic crystals. These "devices" perform a variety of optical functions, such as generating the white color of certain spiders, the metallic silvery reflectance of fish scales, the brilliant iridescent colors of some copepods, and mirrors used for vision in animal eyes. Scallops have tens of eyes, each containing a concave multi-layered mirror tiled with a mosaic of square guanine crystals. The mirror forms images on a double-layered retina. Shrimp, crayfish and lobsters possess compound eyes that also use reflective optics, and contain two sets of mirrors, composed of a previously unknown biogenic crystal - isoxanthopterine. The two mirrors have very different ultrastructures and functions that we can rationalize in terms of the optical performance of the eye. In all these examples, the hierarchical organization is controlled from the component crystals at the nanoscale to the complex 3D morphology at the millimeter level. Israel Science Foundation.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAPS March Meeting 2018
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventAPS March Meeting 2018 -
Duration: 5 Mar 2018 → …


ConferenceAPS March Meeting 2018
Period5/03/18 → …


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