A moth-eye bio-inspired approach to planar isotropic diffraction

Petros I. Stavroulakis, Stuart A. Boden, Darren M. Bagnall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


A regular hexagonally packed biomimetic moth-eye antireflective surface acts as a diffraction grating at short wavelengths of the visible spectrum and shallow angles of incidence. These gratings display strong backscattered iridescence with 6-fold optical symmetry. The optical symmetry of real moth eyes is effectively infinite as nature utilizes large number of uniquely orientated domains. In this work we report on a biomimetic moth-eye surface created via nanosphere lithography with a very large distribution of close-packed tessellated domains and the resulting optical symmetry is compared to that of another widely known highly isotropic diffraction grating, also inspired by nature, the sunflower pattern. A white-light laser reflectometry system is used to measure and compare the diffraction pattern isotropy from both structures. The tessellated close-packed structure diffraction pattern approaches that of infinite optical symmetry even though the underlying pattern only possesses a six-fold symmetry. Hence, the angular isotropy observed for the sunflower pattern is replicated to a large extent via a self-assembly procedure, whilst circumventing the complicated design and manufacturing requirements of the sunflower pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntegrated Miniaturized Materials
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Self-Assembly to Device Integration
PublisherMaterials Research Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781605112497
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event2010 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 5 Apr 20109 Apr 2010

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Proceedings Library Archive
ISSN (Print)1946-4274


Conference2010 MRS Spring Meeting
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

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