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Noniridescent Biomimetic Photonic Microdomes by Inkjet Printing

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journal contribution
posted on 01.10.2020 by Ravi Shanker, Samim Sardar, Shangzhi Chen, Sampath Gamage, Stefano Rossi, Magnus P. Jonsson
Certain bird species have evolved spectacular colors that arise from organized nanostructures of melanin. Its high refractive index (∼1.8) and broadband absorptive properties enable vivid structural colors that are nonsusceptible to photobleaching. Mimicking natural melanin structural coloration could enable several important applications, in particular, for noniridescent systems with colors that are independent of incidence angle. Here, we address this by forming melanin photonic crystal microdomes by inkjet printing. Owing to their curved nature, the microdomes exhibit noniridescent vivid structural coloration, tunable throughout the visible range via the size of the nanoparticles. Large-area arrays (>1 cm2) of high-quality photonic microdomes could be printed on both rigid and flexible substrates. Combined with scalable fabrication and the nontoxicity of melanin, the presented photonic microdomes with noniridescent structural coloration may find use in a variety of applications, including sensing, displays, and anticounterfeit holograms.