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Optica Publishing Group
  • 2019 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe and European Quantum Electronics Conference
  • OSA Technical Digest (Optica Publishing Group, 2019),
  • paper ck_p_43

Structural Design for Broadband Light Management In a Biological Example

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The geometry of the photonic structures formed by insects is often adapted to the ecophysiological strains acting on the animals. One example of such adaptations are the setae (hairs) of the Saharan desert ant Cataglyphis bombycina. The desert ant forages under extreme insolation and at very high temperatures during mid-day [1]. Their setae have a triangular shaped cross section to shield the ant from sunlight by a combination of Mie scattering and total internal reflection [2, 3]. The two upper surfaces of the setae have micro-ribs that were suggested to function as an antireflective coating to enhance the total internal reflection in the visible range [2]. It was also suggested that the setae form an effective medium which significantly increases the emissivity of the ant, and therefore enhances the radiative cooling in mid-infrared (MIR) [3].

© 2019 IEEE

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