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Maxwell Centre

Event Type: 
Core programme events

From Discovery Science to Industrial Applications

Biomimetic colour engineering from nature to applications

by Prof Silvia Vignolini

Department of Chemistry


The most brilliant colours in nature are obtained by structuring transparent materials on the scale of the wavelength of visible light. By designing the dimensions of such nanostructures, it is possible to achieve extremely intense colourations over the entire visible spectrum without using pigments or colourants. Colour obtained through structure, namely structural colour, is widespread in the animal and plant kingdom. Such natural photonic nanostructures are generally synthesised in ambient conditions using a limited range of biopolymers. Given these limitations, an amazing range of optical structures exists: from very ordered photonic structures, to partially disordered, to completely random ones.

In this seminar, I will review our recent advances to fabricate bio-mimetic photonic structures: that can find use as an example as novel more sustainable pigments or to boos efficiency of bio-photoreactors. Developing such biomimetic structures enables us to fabricate materials for the future using renewable resources and low-cost biopolymers and exploiting a circular economy approach.


10:55: Join the call

11:00: Prof Vignolini talk, followed by Q&A

12 noon: Event closes


These events are run termly by the Maxwell Centre and Cambridge Network and are aimed at an industrial audience to highlight cutting edge research with industrial application in the not so distant future.


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This event is FREE to anyone to attend but prior booking is essential.

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Thursday, 17 December, 2020 - 11:00 to 12:00
Contact name: 
Monica Lucena