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Sébastien Mouchet

Sébastien Mouchet. Credit Bénédicte Maindiaux

Exeter researcher co-authors new book on photonic structures

Dr Sébastien R. Mouchet, from the University of Exeter, has co-authored a new book about biological photonic devices.

The book, entitled "Natural Photonics and Bioinspiration" reviews research of biological photonic devices in terms of fundamental aspects of physical optics, environmental biology and engineered bioinspired applications to improve our quality of life and wellbeing.

It was co-authored by Dr Sébastien R. Mouchet from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Exeter and his colleague, Prof. Olivier Deparis from the University of Namur, Belgium.

“Many colours in nature are due to so-called “photonic structures”, namely specific structures in biological tissues that often give rise to brilliant visual effects,” said Dr Mouchet.

“These structures are found for instance in the tissues of some insects, birds, fishes, and plants. They consist in sophisticated materials that have evolved adapted characteristics for millions of years through natural selection.

“Examples of such visual effects encompass structural colours (i.e., colours due to interference between incident light and these structures), water-induced colour changes, colour sensitivity to gases or vapours or control of fluorescence emission. The exhibited striking colours often play crucial roles in biological functions such as the organisms’ communication among their own species or with other species.

“This book reviews the development in the field and promotes some of the results secured and the achievements made by the Natural Photonics group at the University of Exeter since the late 90s until now.”

The book’s foreword was written by Prof Serge Berthier, from Paris Nanosciences Institute and Professor emeritus at University of Paris-Diderot, and by Prof Pete Vukusic, from the University of Exeter.

The readership is interdisciplinary, ranging from postgraduate students to postdoctoral researchers and academics.

"Natural Photonics and Bioinspiration" is published by Artech House.

Date: 22 December 2021

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