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In this work, we report on the light focusing ability exploited by the microshell of a marine organism: the Coscinodiscus wailesii diatom. A 100 μm spot size of a red laser beam is narrowed up to less than 10 μm at a distance of 104 μm after the transmission through the regular geometry of the diatom structure, which thus acts as a microlens. Numerical simulations of the electromagnetic field propagation show a good qualitative agreement with the experimental results. The focusing effect is due to the superposition of the waves scattered by the holes present on the surface of the diatom valve. Very interesting applications in micro-optic devices are feasible due to the morphological and biological characteristic of these unicellular organisms.
Optical Society of America
Publication date: 
24 Dec 2007

Luca De Stefano, Ilaria Rea, Ivo Rendina, Mario De Stefano, Luigi Moretti

Biblio References: 
Volume: 15 Issue: 26 Pages: 18082-18088
Optics Express