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NEWS

Dr Silvia Vignolini

University of Cambridge

Thursday, October 17th, 2013 at 03:00:00 PM

Conference room Querzoli - LENS - via Nello Carrara 1 - Sesto Fiorentino (Florence)

Published on-line at 12:52:06 PM on Friday, October 11th, 2013

Cellulose photonics: new sustainable optical materials

The mimicry of biological species to produce photonic materials has raised increasing interest in the scientific community, with particular focus on replicating

The mimicry of biological species to produce photonic materials has raised increasing interest in the scientific community, with particular focus on replicating structures from the animal kingdom. Plants, like animals, develop nanostructured tissues with a strong photonic response. In the case of fruits and leaves, complex architectures made on cellulose are observed. In those structures cellulose is assembled in micro-fibrils inside the cell walls of the plant’s tissue and the fibrils are orientated in preferred directions and they form a chiral multilayer structure, called a helicoid. Similar architecture can be observed in liquid crystals in cholesteric phase. Such structures can be
replicated artificially and their optical properties can be tuned on demand. In this talk cellulose structures that mimic the one found in nature will be presented. Biomimetics with cellulose-based architectures is key to understand biological processes at work during the growth of these structures in cell walls. Importantly it also enables us to fabricate novel photonic structures using low cost materials in ambient conditions since cellulose is the most abundant polymer available on the planet.

For further informations, please contact Dr Francesca Intonti.