From discovery science to industrial application: Biomimetic colour engineering from nature to applications

Colour obtained through structure, namely structural colour, is widespread in the animal and plant kingdom. In this webinar Professor Silvia Vignolini from the University of Cambridge will review recent advances to fabricate bio-mimetic photonic structures, including sustainable pigments and boosting the efficiency of bio-photoreactors.
Date Thursday 17th December 2020
Time 11am
Venue Online
Cost Free for all to attend, including University staff + students


The most brilliant colours in nature are obtained by structuring transparent materials on the scale of the wavelength of visible light. By designing the dimensions of such nanostructures, it is possible to achieve extremely intense colourations over the entire visible spectrum without using pigments or colourants.


Such photonic nanostructures are generally synthesised in ambient conditions using a limited range of biopolymers. Given these limitations, an amazing range of optical structures exists: from very ordered photonic structures, to partially disordered, to completely random ones.


Developing such biomimetic structures enables us to develop materials for the future using renewable resources and low-cost biopolymers whilst exploiting a circular economy approach.


Professor Silvia Vignolini will share her work on colour and materials based on biopolymers.


About Prof Silvia Vignolini

Prof Silvia Vignolini studied Physics at the University of Florence, Italy. In 2009, she was awarded a PhD in Solid State Physics at the European Laboratory for non-Linear Spectroscopy and the Physics Department at the University of Florence. In 2010, she moved to Cambridge as a post-doctoral research associate working in the Cavendish Laboratory and the Plant Science Department. In 2013, she started her independent research becoming a BBSRC David Philip Fellow and shortly after she was appointed as Lecturer in the Chemistry Department in Cambridge. Her research interest lies at the interface of chemistry, soft-matter physics, optics, and biology. Her approach to fabricate novel optical materials is unique in the field of bio-mimetic and photonics. Grounded on her multidisciplinary background, Prof. Vignolini uses optics to understand the assembly of naturally occurring photonic structures and she applies those concepts to fabricate novel bio-inspired sustainable materials. Read more about the work of the Bio-Inspired Photonics group here.

To book:

This event is FREE to anyone to attend but prior booking is essential. Please register by clicking "Book Now"!


These events and webinars are run termly by the Maxwell Centre and Cambridge Network and are aimed at an industrial audience to highlight cutting edge research with industrial application in the not so distant future.

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


December 17th, 2020 11:00 AM   to   12:00 PM
Online, via zoom
United Kingdom
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