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Proceedings Paper

Tunable natural nano-arrays: controlling surface properties and light reflectance
Author(s): Jolanta A. Watson; Sverre Myhra; Gregory S. Watson
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Paper Abstract

The general principles of optical design based on the theories of reflection, refraction and diffraction have been rigorously developed and optimized over the last three centuries. Of increasing importance has been the ability to predict and devise new optical technologies designed for specific functions. A key design feature of many of today's optical materials is the control of reflection and light transmittance through the medium. A sudden transition or impedance mismatch from one optical medium to another can result in unwanted reflections from the surface plane. Modification of a surface by creation of a gradual change in refractive index over a significant portion of a wavelength range will result in a reduction in reflection. An alternative surface modification to the multi layered stack coating (gradient index coating) is to produce a surface with structures having a period and height shorter than the light wavelength. These structures act like a pseudo-gradient index coating and can be described by the effective medium theory. Bernhard and Miller some forty years ago were the first to observe such structures found on the surface of insects. These were found in the form of hexagonally close packed nanometre sized protrusions on the corneal surface of certain moths. In this study we report on similar structures which we have found on certain species of cicada wings demonstrating that the reflective/transmission properties of these natural nano-structures can be tuned by controlled removal of the structure height using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM).

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 December 2005
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6037, Device and Process Technologies for Microelectronics, MEMS, and Photonics IV, 60371D (29 December 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.638366
Show Author Affiliations
Jolanta A. Watson, Griffith Univ. (Australia)
Sverre Myhra, Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom)
Gregory S. Watson, Griffith Univ. (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6037:
Device and Process Technologies for Microelectronics, MEMS, and Photonics IV
Jung-Chih Chiao; Andrew S. Dzurak; Chennupati Jagadish; David V. Thiel, Editor(s)

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