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3 March 2014 Self-formed ultraefficient resonators in mollusk shells
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Although irregular open nanostructures are typically inadequate for achieving strong light-matter interactions, incorporating irregularity can be advantageous as an alternative strategy, which is not affected by unavoidable structural variations and imperfections. In our recent study,1 we have demonstrated a framework to capitalize on natural disordered nanostructures as highly efficient optical resonators for light confinement and amplification. As one of the wondrous nanocomposite found in nature, the colors of mother-of-pearl (as also known as nacre) have been studied conventionally in terms of diffraction and interference. Surprisingly, we reveal that their color origin is highly attributed to the irregular and disordered nanostructures of nacre, in which disorder-driven resonances can be self-formed by multiple scattering without relying on well-configured closed cavities. We further demonstrate that the highly multilayered nanostructures of nacre can serve as a new class of disordered resonators to realize low lasing threshold and high energy conversion efficiency. Multiple resonances in such nanostructures, which are formed closely in frequency and space, can easily be overlapped to form hybridized states. This ensemble acting of multiple resonances drastically increases the effective cavity size, boosting light-matter interactions. For example, lasing action can be achieved using an edible food dye with a low quantum yield. Indeed, while ordered and closed resonators are commonly thought to be crucial, this biogenic approach can offer a novel strategy for designing and fabricating photonic nanostructures. The simplicity and efficiency of the natural resonators will open the new possibility of studying light propagation in complex media, measuring photoluminescence properties, and developing cost-effective photonic devices.
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Seung Ho Choi and Young L. Kim "Self-formed ultraefficient resonators in mollusk shells", Proc. SPIE 8958, Bioinspired, Biointegrated, Bioengineered Photonic Devices II, 895804 (3 March 2014);

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