Physics of structural colors

  title={Physics of structural colors},
  author={Shuichi Kinoshita and S. Yoshioka and Jun Miyazaki},
  journal={Reports on Progress in Physics},
In recent years, structural colors have attracted great attention in a wide variety of research fields. This is because they are originated from complex interaction between light and sophisticated nanostructures generated in the natural world. In addition, their inherent regular structures are one of the most conspicuous examples of non-equilibrium order formation. Structural colors are deeply connected with recent rapidly growing fields of photonics and have been extensively studied to clarify… 

Angle-independent structural colors of silicon

Abstract. Structural colors are optical phenomena of physical origin, where microscale and nanoscale structures determine the reflected spectrum of light. Artificial structural colors have been

Photonics in Nature: From Order to Disorder

This chapter reviews and attempts to classify structurally coloured organisms, highlighting the influence that disorder has on their visual appearance and showcases how photonic systems are capable of obtaining optical properties where disorder seems to be highly optimized, indicating that disorder is important for obtaining complex visual effects in natural systems.

Emerging optical properties from the combination of simple optical effects

Recent research involving the combination of different geometries and materials to enhance the structural color effect or to create entirely new effects, which cannot be observed otherwise are explored.

Recent advances in the biomimicry of structural colours.

The recent technological strategies employed to artificially mimic the structural colours found in nature are reviewed, as well as some of their current and potential applications.

The Structural Colors of Photonic Glasses

The color of materials usually originates from a combination of wavelength‐dependent absorption and scattering. Controlling the color without the use of absorbing dyes is of practical interest, not

Color generation from self-organized metalo-dielectric nanopillar arrays

Abstract Nanostructures composed of dielectric, metallic or metalo-dielectric structures are receiving significant attention due to their unique capabilities to manipulate light for a wide range of

Using optical potentials with gain-loss to generate structural colors

We study the possibility to obtain structural colors through the use of supersymmetric transformations in optics such as the Darboux transform. Structural colors were originally discovered by

Highly selective photonic glass filter for saturated blue structural color

Angle independent non-absorbing spectral filters are required for many applications such as sunscreens, structural colors, photovoltaics, and radiative cooling. One of the promising and simple to

Janus Structural Color from a 2D Photonic Crystal Hybrid with a Fabry–Perot Cavity

Structural colors are widely applied for their stability and their sophisticated optical responses. However, these colors always appear washed‐out or pale assigning to the defect hardly avoided in



Structural colors in nature: the role of regularity and irregularity in the structure.

The fundamental optical properties underlying the structural colors are explained, and a general principle of structural colors based on structural hierarchy is proposed and their up-to-date applications are shown.

Origin of Two-Color Iridescence in Rock Dove's Feather(Cross-disciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

Iridescence is observed in various kinds of animals that utilize optical interference phenomenon of microstructures to produce their brilliant colors. It appears according to the interference

Variation of a photonic crystal color with the Miller indices of the exposed surface

The optical reflectance of photonic-crystal films is revisited, while focussing on the variety of coloration produced by different surface orientations. The needed tools for this analysis are first

Role of photonic-crystal-type structures in the thermal regulation of a Lycaenid butterfly sister species pair.

The optical and electron microscopic investigation of two male butterflies-blue and brown-representing a sister species pair and originating from different altitudes, revealed that the blue color can be attributed unambiguously to the fine, spongelike medium, called "pepper-pot structure," present between the ridges and the cross ribs in the scales of the colored butterfly.

On a Periodic Structure in Many Insect Scales, and the Cause of Their Iridescent Colours

Ever since the distinction between the pigmentary and the structural colours of insects was recognised, there has been discussion as to the cause of the latter phenomenon, but no satisfactory

A Fourier Tool for the Analysis of Coherent Light Scattering by Bio-Optical Nanostructures1

The applications of the Fourier tool have falsified the century old hypothesis that the non-iridescent structural colors of avian feather barbs and skin are produced by incoherent Rayleigh or Tyndall scattering and provided a single method for the analysis of coherent scattering by a diversity of nanostructural classes.

Color-selecting reflectors inspired from biological periodic multilayer structures.

It is shown that both the dominant reflected wavelength and the photonic bandgap can be predicted and that these predictions agree with exact calculations of reflectance spectra for a finite multilayer structure.

A vision for natural photonics

  • A. Parker
  • Physics
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
  • 2004
Animals have plenty to teach us, not only in terms of the design of their optical structures, but also their engineering, as biologists and physicists have begun collaborative optics–based projects where the data will be supplied by nature.

Effects of a butterfly scale microstructure on the iridescent color observed at different angles.

The spectral reflectivities of P. blumei iridescent scales are determined numerically by using models of a butterfly scale microstructure and experimentally by using a microscale-reflectance spectrometer to accurately predict the shifts in spectral reflectivity observed experimentally.