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Optical properties of diatom nanostructured biosilica in Arachnoidiscus sp: micro-optics from mother nature.

Ferrara MA, Dardano P, De Stefano L, Rea I, Coppola G, Rendina I, Congestri R, Antonucci A, De Stefano M, De Tommasi E - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: This is the case of diatoms, unicellular microalgae, whose protoplasm is enclosed in a nanoporous microshell, made of hydrogenated amorphous silica, called frustule.We found photonic effects due to diffraction by ordered pattern of pores and slits, accordingly to an elaborated theoretical model.Characterization of such intricate structures can be of great inspiration for photonic devices of next generation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Microelectronic and Microsystems, Department of Naples, National Research Council, Naples, Italy.

ABSTRACT
Some natural structures show three-dimensional morphologies on the micro- and nano-scale, characterized by levels of symmetry and complexity well far beyond those fabricated by best technologies available. This is the case of diatoms, unicellular microalgae, whose protoplasm is enclosed in a nanoporous microshell, made of hydrogenated amorphous silica, called frustule. We have studied the optical properties of Arachnoidiscus sp. single valves both in visible and ultraviolet range. We found photonic effects due to diffraction by ordered pattern of pores and slits, accordingly to an elaborated theoretical model. For the first time, we experimentally revealed spatial separation of focused light in different spots, which could be the basis of a micro-bio-spectrometer. Characterization of such intricate structures can be of great inspiration for photonic devices of next generation.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Details of a single costa (a) and single pores (b) of a valve obtained by means of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM).
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pone-0103750-g004: Details of a single costa (a) and single pores (b) of a valve obtained by means of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM).

Mentions: Figure 3 shows SEM images of a single valve of Arachnoidiscus sp. with some details at different magnifications. Frustules of Arachnoidiscus are heterovalvar, containing two different valves, and the whole frustule is Petri dish shaped. One valve is characterized by a planar central area (see Figure 3a) and the second one by a centre ringed with elongated radial slits (not shown). In general, the valve presents a clear ultrastructure characterized by progressively reduced porous features, according to position with respect to the plate, with dimensions ranging from micrometers to tens of nanometers. The internal side of the valve (see Figure 3c) hosts a system of costae radiating from a flange around a central ring. Figure 4 shows a further morphological characterization of a single costa and single pores of the valve obtained by means of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). It can be noticed how the costa is in relief with respect to the lying plane of the pores. Finally, Figure 5 shows the morphological characterization of a single valve by Digital Holography (see Methods). The thickness of the inner flange of the valve is clearly visible (see Figure 5c).


Optical properties of diatom nanostructured biosilica in Arachnoidiscus sp: micro-optics from mother nature.

Ferrara MA, Dardano P, De Stefano L, Rea I, Coppola G, Rendina I, Congestri R, Antonucci A, De Stefano M, De Tommasi E - PLoS ONE (2014)

Details of a single costa (a) and single pores (b) of a valve obtained by means of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4116236&req=5

pone-0103750-g004: Details of a single costa (a) and single pores (b) of a valve obtained by means of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM).
Mentions: Figure 3 shows SEM images of a single valve of Arachnoidiscus sp. with some details at different magnifications. Frustules of Arachnoidiscus are heterovalvar, containing two different valves, and the whole frustule is Petri dish shaped. One valve is characterized by a planar central area (see Figure 3a) and the second one by a centre ringed with elongated radial slits (not shown). In general, the valve presents a clear ultrastructure characterized by progressively reduced porous features, according to position with respect to the plate, with dimensions ranging from micrometers to tens of nanometers. The internal side of the valve (see Figure 3c) hosts a system of costae radiating from a flange around a central ring. Figure 4 shows a further morphological characterization of a single costa and single pores of the valve obtained by means of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). It can be noticed how the costa is in relief with respect to the lying plane of the pores. Finally, Figure 5 shows the morphological characterization of a single valve by Digital Holography (see Methods). The thickness of the inner flange of the valve is clearly visible (see Figure 5c).

Bottom Line: This is the case of diatoms, unicellular microalgae, whose protoplasm is enclosed in a nanoporous microshell, made of hydrogenated amorphous silica, called frustule.We found photonic effects due to diffraction by ordered pattern of pores and slits, accordingly to an elaborated theoretical model.Characterization of such intricate structures can be of great inspiration for photonic devices of next generation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Microelectronic and Microsystems, Department of Naples, National Research Council, Naples, Italy.

ABSTRACT
Some natural structures show three-dimensional morphologies on the micro- and nano-scale, characterized by levels of symmetry and complexity well far beyond those fabricated by best technologies available. This is the case of diatoms, unicellular microalgae, whose protoplasm is enclosed in a nanoporous microshell, made of hydrogenated amorphous silica, called frustule. We have studied the optical properties of Arachnoidiscus sp. single valves both in visible and ultraviolet range. We found photonic effects due to diffraction by ordered pattern of pores and slits, accordingly to an elaborated theoretical model. For the first time, we experimentally revealed spatial separation of focused light in different spots, which could be the basis of a micro-bio-spectrometer. Characterization of such intricate structures can be of great inspiration for photonic devices of next generation.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus