SMSD SEMINAR SERIES - Insect functional materials: from vivid colours to slippery slopes
Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Dr. Bodo Wilts, Adolphe Merkle Institute
The existence of multifunctional materials in nature, often assembled from a few building blocks that are hierarchically organised in material motifs, are not only enviable adaptation to their life style, but also have long inspired novel technological applications. This talk will present two special adaptations found in insects and elsewhere in the biological world: deeply coloured photonic nanostructures and anti-slip coatings. Biophotonic structures present an exceptional feat of evolutionary engineering of optically functional nanostructures at the nanoscale, where nature has brought forward most diverse optical structures, from gratings to gyroid with varying degrees of order. Here, I will present the examples of order and disorder in peacock spiders, damselflies and beetles, before showing our recent endeavours to manufacture bio-inspired non-stick surfaces for insects.
Bodo Wilts is a Group leader at the Adolphe Merkle Institute in Fribourg, Switzerland. Prior to this, he was a postdoctoral research associate in the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. He received his Ph.D. in 2013 from the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in the Netherlands with highest distinctions. His research focuses on the optical function, development, and design of biological and bio-inspired photonic structures and polymer-templated plasmonic optical metamaterials.