Suppression of backscattered diffraction from sub-wavelength 'moth-eye' arrays

Petros I. Stavroulakis*, Stuart A. Boden, Thomas Johnson, Darren M. Bagnall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The eyes and wings of some species of moth are covered with arrays of nanoscale features that dramatically reduce reflection of light. There have been multiple examples where this approach has been adapted for use in antireflection and antiglare technologies with the fabrication of artificial moth-eye surfaces. In this work, the suppression of iridescence caused by the diffraction of light from such artificial regular moth-eye arrays at high angles of incidence is achieved with the use of a new tiled domain design, inspired by the arrangement of features on natural moth-eye surfaces. This bio-mimetic pillar architecture contains high optical rotational symmetry and can achieve high levels of diffraction order power reduction. For example, a tiled design fabricated in silicon and consisting of domains with 9 different orientations of the traditional hexagonal array exhibited a ∼96% reduction in the intensity of the -1 diffraction order. It is suggested natural moth-eye surfaces have evolved a tiled domain structure as it confers efficient antireflection whilst avoiding problems with high angle diffraction. This combination of antireflection and stealth properties increases chances of survival by reducing the risk of the insect being spotted by a predator. Furthermore, the tiled domain design could lead to more effective artificial moth-eye arrays for antiglare and stealth applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalOptics Express
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


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