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New Nano Materials Inspired by Bird Feathers Play with Light to Create Color

New Nano Materials Inspired by Bird Feathers Play with Light to Create Color | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Inspired by the way iridescent bird feathers play with light, scientists have created thin films of material in a wide range of pure colors — from red to green — with hues determined by physical structure rather than pigments.

Structural color arises from the interaction of light with materials that have patterns on a minute scale, which bend and reflect light to amplify some wavelengths and dampen others. Melanosomes, tiny packets of melanin found in the feathers, skin and fur of many animals, can produce structural color when packed into solid layers, as they are in the feathers of some birds. 

“We synthesized and assembled nanoparticles of a synthetic version of melanin to mimic the natural structures found in bird feathers,” said Nathan Gianneschi, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego. “We want to understand how nature uses materials like this, then to develop function that goes beyond what is possible in nature."

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Fish and Flowers Inspire Diving Goggle Material

Fish and Flowers Inspire Diving Goggle Material | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Light scattering means that many synthetic oil-repellent surfaces are opaque, limiting their use. A transparent, oil-repellent surface would have applications in biology and underwater optics, including in diving goggles and cameras. Now, Feng Chen’s research group at Xi’an Jiaotong University has developed such a material. Fish repel oil by trapping water within their scales to create a self-cleaning, oil-repellent coat and prompted part of the idea behind the work. Chen’s other brainwave was triggered by Diphylleia grayi – also known as the skeleton flower."

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lavieepanouie's curator insight, April 22, 5:16 PM

Ou comment la nature nous inspire !

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Chameleon-like Material Changes Color On Demand

Chameleon-like Material Changes Color On Demand | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley announced today that they have developed an ultra-thin material that can change color on demand by bouncing back light on the nanoscale level. Well, the on-demand element is a little more nuanced. The “chameleon skin” material actually changes color when flexed, or when a small amount of force is applied to the surface."

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How a Moth's Eye Could Help Improve the Efficiency of Solar Cells

How a Moth's Eye Could Help Improve the Efficiency of Solar Cells | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The eyes of nocturnal moths contain a series compound lenses: micro lenses called ommatidia which are themselves patterned with a nanoscale dome-shaped bumps. These structures naturally help reduce reflection of light at a wide range of wavelengths, enabling better night vision to help moths navigate in the dark. [...] The ability to capture light and not let go is appealing in the world of solar cells because it can increase efficiency. So the team from Singapore has taken inspiration from the complex lens structure to create a process that stamps patterns over the surface of a material, replicating the antireflective effects of the moths' eyes. "

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Learning Anti-microbial Nanoscale Physics From Cicada

Learning Anti-microbial Nanoscale Physics From Cicada | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The spread of antimicrobial resistance with the emergence of 'super-bugs' that resist even 'last-resort' antibiotics has prompted the World Health Organisation (WHO) to formally tackle the problem of an unwanted post-antibiotic era. [...] A notable solution is provided by an unlikely source - the cicada.The wings of this small fly display bactericidal nanoscale pillar structures. Each of these pillars is a pike of several tens of nanometers in diameter and is separated from other pikes at regular nanometer intervals. Densely packed on the wing surfaces, these pillars arrange into nanopatterns which pierce the membranes of bacterial cells on contact, tearing bacteria apart. Inspired by this example, a research team from NPL and the School of Oral and Dental Sciences at the University of Bristol engineered biocompatible surfaces exhibiting nanowire arrays."

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Quenching the World's Water and Energy Crises, One Tiny Droplet at a Time

Quenching the World's Water and Energy Crises, One Tiny Droplet at a Time | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"In the Namib Desert of Africa, the fog-filled morning wind carries the drinking water for a beetle called the Stenocara. iny droplets collect on the beetle's bumpy back. The areas between the bumps are covered in a waxy substance that makes them water-repellant, or hydrophobic (water-fearing). Water accumulates on the water-loving, or hydrophilic, bumps, forming droplets that eventually grow too big to stay put, then roll down the waxy surface. [...]  More than a decade ago, news of this creature's efficient water collection system inspired engineers to try and reproduce these surfaces in the lab. Small-scale advances in fluid physics, materials engineering and nanoscience since that time have brought them close to succeeding."




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Butterfly Wings Inspire Better Sensors

Butterfly Wings Inspire Better Sensors | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Imitating nature is not a new idea. When the GE team put Morpho wings under a powerful microscope, they saw a layer of tiny scales just tens of micrometers across. In turn, each of the scales had arrays of ridges a few hundred nanometers wide. This complex structure absorbs and bends light and givesMorfo butterflies their trademark shimmering blue and green coat."

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, April 6, 2014 5:50 PM

Great ideas are often taken from nature! Check this one out!

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Waterproof Surface is 'Driest Ever'

Waterproof Surface is 'Driest Ever' | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"US engineers have created the "most waterproof material ever" - inspired by nasturtium leaves and butterfly wings. The new "super-hydrophobic" surface could keep clothes dry and stop aircraft engines icing over, they say."

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Springtails Inspire Great Leap in Super Materials

Springtails Inspire Great Leap in Super Materials | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Norwegian researchers are using insights from the animal kingdom in their quest to design new self-cleansing and water-repellant surface materials.
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Butterfly Inspires Nanodevice

Butterfly Inspires Nanodevice | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Butterfly wings have inspired the design of a tiny crystal that could make telecommunications faster.
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Crickethair Sensor is 'Highlight' of Bio-Inspired Technology

Crickethair Sensor is 'Highlight' of Bio-Inspired Technology | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"One of the top ten highlights of the past year, in terms of technology that is inspired by nature. That was how the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics described a paper by researchers from the University of Twente's MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology. The publication describes new technology involving the use of sensors to measure flow patterns. Source of inspiration: the hairs on cricket abdomens."

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Sharklet: A Biotech Startup Fights Germs With Sharks

Sharklet: A Biotech Startup Fights Germs With Sharks | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Forget chemicals or pills in the fight against nasty bacterial infections. Entrepreneur Mark Spiecker is betting that the secrte lies with sharks. Those fast and carnivorous fish just happen to have microscopic textures on their skin that make them highly resistant to barnacles, algae and, surprisingly, most human bacteria."

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Harvard Creates Beautiful, Self-Assembled Nanoflowers to Better Understand Nature

Harvard Creates Beautiful, Self-Assembled Nanoflowers to Better Understand Nature | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The beautiful flowers that you see above, and dotted throughout the rest of this story, are around 25 micrometers tall and 10 micrometers wide. Even more impressively, these flowers self-assembled from three fairly normal chemical compounds. Rather than just an exercise in aesthetics, though, scientists hope these nanoflowers can improve our scientific understanding of how immensely complex structures in nature, such as human embryos, self-assemble."

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Low-reflection Wings Make Butterflies Nearly Invisible

Low-reflection Wings Make Butterflies Nearly Invisible | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The effect is known from the smart phone: Sun is reflected by the display and hardly anything can be seen. In contrast to this, the glasswing butterfly hardly reflects any light in spite of its transparent wings. As a result, it is difficult for predatory birds to track the butterfly during the flight. Researchers of KIT under the direction of Hendrik Hölscher found that irregular nanostructures on the surface of the butterfly wing cause the low reflection. In theoretical experiments, they succeeded in reproducing the effect that opens up fascinating application options, e.g. for displays of mobile phones or laptops."

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Butterfly-Inspired Building

Butterfly-Inspired Building | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The rare blue morpho butterfly is among the largest butterflies in the world and one of the most spectacular with its brown wings that suddenly turn iridescent blue. This amazing display happens when blue light reflects off the layers of microscopic scales on its wings. 3M scientists studied the butterfly to mimic this effect in a window film."

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Startup Uses Biomimicry to Create High-Performance Metal Alloys

Startup Uses Biomimicry to Create High-Performance Metal Alloys | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Used widely in nature, lamination – the deposition of fine layers of materials on top of one another – has long been known as a means of manufacturing stronger, more durable and longer lasting metals. Founded in 2006, Seattle’s Modumetal is applying the process of lamination at nano-scale, enabling engineers to design and fabricate metals with superior performance characteristics and at lower cost than conventional methods."

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Elke B. Bachler's curator insight, April 4, 6:16 AM

Quote: "Used widely in nature, lamination – the deposition of fine layers of materials on top of one another – has long been known as a means of manufacturing stronger, more durable and longer lasting metals." 

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Limpet's Shell Could Inspire Next-gen Transparent Displays

Limpet's Shell Could Inspire Next-gen Transparent Displays | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"..an MIT/Harvard study suggests that a specific type of limpet's shell may hold the key to transparent displays that require no internal light source. The mollusk in question is the blue-rayed limpet which, as its name implies, has bright blue stripes on its translucent shell. It is believed that these are used to make potential predators mistake it for a poisonous snail, which also has blue markings. The iridescent lines appear blue due to the fact that the shell material in those areas reflects the blue spectrum of incoming light, while absorbing other colors so that they don't drown out the blue."

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Sharks Have Tough Skin Worthy of Biomimicry

Sharks Have Tough Skin Worthy of Biomimicry | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Sharks have tough skin that is worthy of biomimicry by nanotechnology designers and engineers. New coatings, textiles and other technologies that mimic the special biological properties of shark skin have been developed in recent years and many more such innovations are emerging across multiple industries."

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Inspired by Moth Eyeballs, Chemists Develop Gold Coating That Dims Glare

Inspired by Moth Eyeballs, Chemists Develop Gold Coating That Dims Glare | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Moth eyeballs are made up of tiny cones that reduce glare. UC Irvine researchers copied the pattern on a new, flexible material and coated it with a bit of gold to make a product that could improve solar panels, LED displays and disguising of weapons."

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Antibacterial Power of Black Silicon

Antibacterial Power of Black Silicon | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Earlier this year, we reported about a finding which revealed that physical structure of Psaltoda claripenniscicada wings can shred certain types of rod-shaped bacteria. After analyzing the surface, researchers at the Swinburne University of Technology used biomimicry to create a surface with similar properties. This nanosurface could lead to development of a new generation of nanostructured antibacterial materials. 

“Based on this discovery, we investigated other insects that may possess similar surface architectures that might kill more bacteria, in particular the deadly strains of the Staphylococcus aureus or golden staph bacterium”, said Elena Ivanova, microbiology professor at the Swinburne University of Technology. Their search led them to the wings of the Diplacodes bipunctata (Wandering Percher dragonfly), whose spike-like nanostructure destroys both rod-shaped and spherical bacteria."


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Deciphering Butterflies' Designer Colors: Findings Could Inspire New Hue-changing Materials

Deciphering Butterflies' Designer Colors: Findings Could Inspire New Hue-changing Materials | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Butterfly wings can do remarkable things with light, and humans are still trying to learn from them. Physicists have now uncovered how subtle differences in the tiny crystals of butterfly wings create stunningly varied patterns of color even among closely related species. The discovery, reported today in the Optical Society's (OSA) open-access journal Optical Materials Express, could lead to new coatings for manufactured materials that could change color by design, if researchers can figure out how to replicate the wings' light-manipulating properties."

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Controlling Wettability: 'Sticky tape' for Water Droplets Mimics Rose Petal

Controlling Wettability: 'Sticky tape' for Water Droplets Mimics Rose Petal | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

A new nanostructured material may lead to surfaces that stay dry forever, never need cleaning and are able to repel bacteria and even prevent mold and fungi growth. "The newly discovered material uses raspberry particles -- so-called because of their appearance -- which can trap tiny water droplets and prevent them from rolling off surfaces, even when that surface is turned upside down," said Dr Andrew Telford from the University's School of Chemistry and lead author of the research recently published in the journal, Chemistry of Materials. The raspberry particles mimic the surface structure of some rose petals.

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Cactus-inspired Material Cleans Oily Water

Cactus-inspired Material Cleans Oily Water | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Arrays of tiny copper spikes can clean oil from water, mimicking the way cacti pull water out of desert air.
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Harnessing The Power Of Peacocks To Make Colorful Images

Harnessing The Power Of Peacocks To Make Colorful Images | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The gloriously colored, iridescent feathers of the male peacock aren't what they seem on the surface. They look that way largely because the feathers contain nanometer-scale protein structures that break up incoming light waves, recombine and reflect them as rich, vibrant colors. Scientists at the University of Michigan think they have a technology that emulates this process to display pictures without chemicals or electrical power. Eventually, the technology could replace the displays now used on smartphones, tablets, and computer screens, with strikingly high definition."

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Snake's Ultra-black Spots May Aid High-Tech Quest

Snake's Ultra-black Spots May Aid High-Tech Quest | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Scientists have identified nanostructures in the ultra-black skin markings of an African viper which they said [...] could inspire the quest to create the ultimate light-absorbing material."

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