Ultra-dense, curved, grating optics determines peacock spider coloration

Bodo D. Wilts*, Juergen Otto, Doekele G. Stavenga

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

11 Citaten (Scopus)
78 Downloads (Pure)


Controlling light through photonic nanostructures is important for everyday optical components, from spectrometers to data storage and readout. In nature, nanostructured materials produce wavelength-dependent colors that are key for visual communication across animals. Here, we investigate two Australian peacock spiders, which court females in complex dances with either iridescent color patterns (Maratus robinsoni) or an approximately angle-independent blue coloration (M. nigromaculatus). Using light microscopy, FIB-SEM imaging, imaging scatterometry, and optical modeling, we show that both color displays originate from nanogratings on structured 3D surfaces. The difference in angle-dependency of the coloration results from a combination of the local scale shape and the nanograting period. The iridescence of M. robinsoni arises from ordered gratings on locally flat substrates, while the more stable blue colors of M. nigromaculatus originate from ultra-dense, curved gratings with multiscale disorder. Our results shed light on the design principle of the peacock spiders' scales and could inspire novel dispersive components, e.g. used in spectroscopic applications.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1122-1127
Aantal pagina's6
TijdschriftNanoscale advances
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
StatusPublished - 1-mrt.-2020

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