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Shrimp Eyes Inspire Scientists to Improve Paint Technology

Shrimp Eyes Inspire Scientists to Improve Paint Technology

February 7, 2020

Nanotechnology, Natural Sciences

Breaking Israel News — Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), in collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Science, discovered that the unusual structure of a shrimp’s eye could be used to develop better and more effective paints.

Dr. Benjamin Palmer, senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry

If you have ever looked at the crustacean in the eye, you might have noticed that it glows in the dark. This phenomenon is due to the fact that the shrimp has a reflector underlying its retina made of tightly packed nanoparticles that allows the eye to collect more light.

“It’s not often that new principles in optics are revealed by biological systems,” said Dr. Benjamin Palmer, a senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at BGU and the lead author on the research paper in Nature Nanotechnology. Fascinated by optical crystals in biology, he teamed up to map them and determine their properties.

The secrets of the shrimp eye could inspire new, highly efficient paints and coatings that could be made ultra-thin (and presumably cheaper) yet highly reflective using photonic crystals constructed from spherically symmetric particles.

The team is now trying to understand the tricks that the shrimps use to make such complex particles and aims to recreate them in the lab.

Read more on the Breaking Israel News website >>