Bio-inspired, Lightweight, Polymer-based, Flexible Optoelectronics

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Tunable color of cells in squid skin: Activation with a neurotransmitter can induce the cells to reflect any color of the rainbow. (The dark spot in the center of each cell corresponds to the position of the nucleus.) The molecular mechanisms governing the dynamic tenability in this biological system provides insights and inspiration guiding our research in collaboration with Army and industry partners aimed at developing an electrically switchable, polymer-based shutter for infrared cameras and sensors.

Vertical Tabs

We recently discovered the remarkable molecular and cellular mechanisms that squids and octopi use to quickly change color for camouflage and signaling under the sea. We also discovered that tropical Giant Clams use some of the same molecules to increase the efficiency of solar energy capture and conversion by photosynthetic algae that live symbiotically within the clam tissue, producing food for their hosts. We’re now “translating” these biophotonic discoveries to make optically tunable polymers and devices that can function as electrically switchable shutters in infrared cameras, and higher efficiency, lightweight, portable solar cells.

University: 

UCSB

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