Scientific article

Light polarization by biological nanocoatings

Published inACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, vol. 13, no. 20, p. 23481-23488
Publication date2021

Light plays paramount functions for living beings in nature. In addition to color, the polarization of light is used by many animals for navigation and communication. In this study, we describe the light polarizing role of special nanostructures coating cuticular surfaces of diverse arthropods. These structures are built as parallel nanoscale ridges covering the eyes of the sunlight-navigating spider Drassodes lapidosus and of the water pond-swarming black fly Simulium vittatum, as well as the light-emitting abdominal lantern of the firefly Aquatica lateralis. Exact topography and dimensions of the parallel nanoridges provide different light polarizing efficiencies and wavelength sensitivity. Optical modeling confirms that the nanoscale ridges are responsible for the spectral polarization dependency. Co-opting from our recent work on the self-assembly of Drosophila corneal nanostructures, we engineer arthropod-like parallel nanoridges on artificial surfaces, which recapitulate the light polarization effects. Our work highlights the fundamental importance of nanocoatings in arthropods for the light polarization management and provides a new biomimetic approach to produce ordered nanostructures under mild conditions.

Citation (ISO format)
KRYUCHKOV, Mikhail et al. Light polarization by biological nanocoatings. In: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2021, vol. 13, n° 20, p. 23481–23488. doi: 10.1021/acsami.1c05049
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ISSN of the journal1944-8244

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