Natural photosynthetic nanostructures as a blueprint for bio-inspired organic photonics

  1. Miguel Augusto Palhinha Castillo
Supervised by:
  1. Martín López García Director

Defence university: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

Fecha de defensa: 18 April 2023

  1. Hernán Ruy Míguez García Chair
  2. Jesús Liñares Beiras Secretary
  3. Clémentine Symonds Committee member

Type: Thesis


Photonic crystals are nanostructured systems which manipulate and confine light at the nanoscale. However, significant hurdles in their fabrication remain, delaying the progress toward large scale commercial applications. Interestingly, nature has been developing these structures for aeons in animals, insects and even plants. In this dissertation, we start by studying the natural photonic structure known as iridoplasts, a specialised iridescent photosynthetic system. We show that this biological organism could be using its photonic properties to mould the absorption of light. We fabricate soft matter photonic structures inspired by iridoplasts. The materials and fabrication methods used could help overcome some of the hurdles of the commonly used fabrication techniques for photonic crystals.