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Cellulose Photonics: from nature to applications

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Nature’s most vivid colours are produced when light repeatedly scatters against periodically organized interfaces within nanostructured materials. This brilliant iridescent colouration is frequently used in many insect and animals but also in different species of plants. One of the most striking examples is the colour of Pollia fruits [1], which is the results of chiral multi-layered cell wall that are responsible of producing an intense colour-selective reflection. Biomimimiking cellulose-based architectures found in plants enables us to fabricate novel photonic structures using low cost materials in ambient conditions [2-4]. Importantly, it also allows us to understand the biological processes at work during the growth of these structures in living systems. In this talk the route for the fabrication of cellulose-base architecture will be presented and the optical properties of cellulose artificial structures will be analysed and compared with natural ones.

[1] S.Vignolini et. al Pointillist structural color in Pollia fruit PNAS 109 , 15712 (2012).

[2] S. N. Fernandes et. al Structural Color and Iridescence in Transparent Sheared Cellulosic Films Macromol. Chem. Physic. 214, 25-32 (2013)

[3] A. G. Dumanli et. al Digital Color in Cellulose Nanocrystal Films, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 6 (15), pp 12302 (2014)

[4] A. G. Dumanli et. al Controlled bio-inspired self-assembly of cellulose-based chiral reflectors, Adv. Opt. Mat. 2, 646 (2014)

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Science Society talks series.

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