Color Our World With Photonics

William Mong Distinguished Lecture by Professor L. Jay Guo
Jul 20, 2017

Professor L. Jay Guo from The University of Michigan, gave a lecture on July 20, 2017 titled “Color Our World With Photonics”.

We find rich and pleasing colors in the world around us, mostly with the use of colored pigments. Many insects produce vivid colors by the nanostructures on their wings, made of materials that can be entirely colorless. It is now possible to engineer different electromagnetic responses in the visible, infrared, THz or radio frequency range by designing structures using dielectric and metallic elements. For example, structural colors can benefit compact and high-efficiency displays and imagers, new vehicle coatings, and building integrated photovoltaics; certain photonic structures can modify the thermal emission properties of heated objects, benefiting thermal-light interconversion efficiencies; surface structure with broadband RF absorptions can help achieve stealth functionality. This talk presented the guiding principles, with an emphasis on structural simplicity, and scalability to practical manufacturing, e.g. by roll-to-roll patterning and deposition processes.