The most brilliant colours, photonic colouration in nature are obtained by nano-structuring transparent materials. In this seminar, I will introduce some striking examples of natural photonic nanostructures and share some insight on their development. Then I will review our recent advances to fabricate bio-mimetic photonic nano structures using only biopolymers.
Prof Silvia Vignolini studied Physics at the University of Florence, Italy. In 2009, she was awarded a PhD in Solid State Physics at the European Laboratory for non-Linear Spectroscopy and the Physics Department at the University of Florence. In 2010, she moved to Cambridge as a post-doctoral research associate working in the Cavendish Laboratory and the Plant Science Department. In 2013, she started her independent research becoming a BBSRC David Philip Fellow. Dr. Vignolini is currently a Professor at the University of Cambridge in Sustainability and Bio-inspired materials. Her research interest lies at the interface of chemistry, soft-matter physics, optics, and biology. In particular, her research focuses on the study of how natural materials (like cellulose) are assembled into complex architectures within living organisms and how the such materials can be exploited to fabricate a novel class of photonic pigments.