Diatoms are a renewable (biologically reproducible) source of three-dimensional (3-D) nanostructured silica that could be attractive for a variety of photonic devices, owing to the wide range of quasi-periodic patterns of nano-to-microscale pores available on the silica microshells (frustules) of various diatom species. We have investigated the optical behavior of the silica frustule of a centric marine diatom, Coscinodiscus wailesii, using a coherent broadband (400-1700 nm) supercontinuum laser focused to a fine (20 μm diameter) spot. The C. wailesii frustule valve, which possessed a quasi-periodic hexagonal pore array, exhibited positiondependent optical diffraction. Changes in such diffraction behavior across the frustule were consistent with observed variations in the quasi-periodic pore pattern.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics