An omnidirectional broadband mirror design inspired by biological multilayer reflectors

T. M. Jordan, N. W. Roberts, J. C. Partridge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Biological multilayer reflectors are common in nature and some are able to reflect light across a broad range of wavelengths with a low degree of polarization over all angles of incidence. This inspired us to examine theoretically possible mechanisms that would allow stacks of biological materials to produce broadband omnidirectional reflections. Through the application of anisotropic multilayer theory, we establish that the degree of polarization of light reflected from the structure can be neutralized by birefringent layers with variations in the orientation of their optics axis and random variations in their optical thickness. The degree of polarization of reflected light decreases with the number of crystal layers and can be made arbitrarily low to produce true omnidirectional reflection. We also show that systematic variation in orientation and layer thickness can produce the same effect. This reflective structure is distinct from existing omnidirectional mirrors and can produce omnidirectional reflection even if the refractive index of the external environment is same as the low index isotropic layers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBIOINSPIRATION, BIOMIMETICS, AND BIOREPLICATION 2012
EditorsA Lakhtakia, RJ MartinPalma
Place of PublicationBELLINGHAM
PublisherSociety of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Pages-
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)978-0-8194-8996-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventConference on Bioinspiration, Biomimetics and Bioreplication - San Diego, United States
Duration: 12 Mar 201215 Mar 2012

Conference

ConferenceConference on Bioinspiration, Biomimetics and Bioreplication
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period12/03/1215/03/12

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