A biological quarter-wave retarder with excellent achromaticity in the visible wavelength region

Roberts, N. W., Chiou, T. H., Marshall, N. J. and Cronin, T. W. (2009) A biological quarter-wave retarder with excellent achromaticity in the visible wavelength region. Natural Photonics, 3 11: 641-644. doi:10.1038/NPHOTON.2009.189


Author Roberts, N. W.
Chiou, T. H.
Marshall, N. J.
Cronin, T. W.
Title A biological quarter-wave retarder with excellent achromaticity in the visible wavelength region
Journal name Natural Photonics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1749-4885
Publication date 2009-10
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/NPHOTON.2009.189
Volume 3
Issue 11
Start page 641
End page 644
Total pages 4
Editor Olivier Graydon
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
830102 Aquaculture Fin Fish (excl. Tuna)
060805 Animal Neurobiology
060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)
040501 Biological Oceanography
Abstract Animals make use of a wealth of optical physics to control and manipulate light, for example, in creating reflective animal colouration1, 2, 3 and polarized light signals4. Their precise optics often surpass equivalent man-made optical devices in both sophistication and efficiency5. Here, we report a biophysical mechanism that creates a natural full-visible-range achromatic quarter-wave retarder in the eye of a stomatopod crustacean. Analogous, man-made retardation devices are important optical components, used in both scientific research and commercial applications for controlling polarized light. Typical synthetic retarders are not achromatic, and more elaborate designs, such as, multilayer subwavelength gratings or bicrystalline constructions, only achieve partial wavelength independence6. In this work, we use both experimental measurements and theoretical modelling of the photoreceptor structure to illustrate how a novel interplay of intrinsic and form birefringence results in a natural achromatic optic that significantly outperforms current man-made optical devices.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 03 Nov 2009, 12:43:08 EST by Cameron Harris on behalf of School of Biomedical Sciences