The characterization of partially coherent light transmission by micrometer sized valves of marine diatoms is an interesting optical challenge and, from the biological point of view, is of outmost relevance in order to understand evolution mechanisms of such organisms. In the present work, we have studied the transmission of light coming from a monochromator through single valves of Coscinodiscus wailesii diatoms. Incoming light is confined by the regular pore pattern of the diatom surface into a spot of few microns, its dimensions depending on wavelength. The effect is ascribed to the superposition of wavefronts diffracted by the pores’ edges. Numerical simulations help to demonstrate how this effect is not present in the ultraviolet region of the light spectrum, showing one of the possible evolutionary advantages represented by the regular pores patterns of the valves.
Optical Society of America
7 Jun 2010
Volume: 18 Issue: 12 Pages: 12203-12212