Bioinspired Photonics

The focus of our Bioinspired Photonics subgroup is on the study of colors, especially structural colors, in butterflies and beetles and how these can be artificially recreated from biological building blocks. In addition to the experimental analysis of different ordered three-dimensional photonic crystal structures in nature, we are also working on developing theoretical models to understand the color-generating mechanisms in disordered systems better. In addition, we are developing artificial systems to test our theoretical models experimentally. Among other things, this research contributes to the development of defect-tolerant photonic crystal structures for industry. The third focus is the development of photonic crystals in a bioinspired way. This means that we are working both on understanding the natural formation process and on developing nanofabrication methods to create photonic crystals for visible light from the natural building blocks. In addition to colors, we are also investigating how we can develop white pigments from guanine to replace the white pigment titanium dioxide, which has been banned by the EU. The fourth focus is on three-dimensional nonlinear (second-order) photonic crystals, which we create using bio-templating.

The research team