Biomineral Amorphous Lasers through Light-Scattering Surfaces Assembled by Electrospun Fiber Templates.
New materials aim at exploiting the great control of living organisms over molecular architectures and minerals. Optical biomimetics has been widely developed by microengineering, leading to photonic components with order resembling those found in plants and animals. These systems, however, are realized by complicated and adverse processes. Here we show how biomineralization might enable the one-step generation of components for amorphous photonics, in which light is made to travel through disordered scattering systems, and particularly of active devices such as random lasers, by using electrospun fiber templates. The amount of bio-enzymatically produced silica is related to light-scattering capacity and the resulting organosilica surfaces exhibit a transport mean free path for light as low as 3 micron, and lasing with linewidth below 0.2 nm. The resulting, complex optical material is characterized and modelled to elucidate scattered fields and lasing performance. Tightly-controlled nanofabrication of direct biological inspiration establishes a new concept for the additive manufacturing of engineered light-diffusing materials and photonic components, not addressed by existing technologies.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1710.10160
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