Research ArticleAPPLIED OPTICS

Biomimetic gyroid nanostructures exceeding their natural origins

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Science Advances  13 May 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 5, e1600084
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600084

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Using optical two-beam lithography with improved resolution and enhanced mechanical strength, we demonstrate the replication of gyroid photonic nanostructures found in the butterfly Callophrys rubi. These artificial structures are shown to have size, controllability, and uniformity that are superior to those of their biological counterparts. In particular, the elastic Young’s modulus of fabricated nanowires is enhanced by up to 20%. As such, the circular dichroism enabled by the gyroid nanostructures can operate in the near-ultraviolet wavelength region, shorter than that supported by the natural butterfly wings of C. rubi. This fabrication technique provides a unique tool for extracting three-dimensional photonic designs from nature and will aid the investigation of biomimetic nanostructures.

  • Gyroid nano-structures
  • optical two-beam lithography
  • biomimetics
  • mechanical strength
  • circular dichroism

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