The beetle is an inch-long weevil named Lamprocyphus augustus. The discovery of its scales' crystal structure represents the first time scientists have been able to work with a material with the ideal or "champion" architecture for a photonic crystal.
"Nature uses very simple strategies to design structures to manipulate light -- structures that are beyond the reach of our current abilities," Galusha says.
Bartl and Galusha now are trying to design a synthetic version of the beetle's photonic crystals, using scale material as a mold to make the crystals from a transparent semiconductor.
(Via Reality Carnival Unleashed.)
Thursday, May 22, 2008
The Photonic Beetle: Nature Builds Diamond-Like Crystals For Future Optical Computers