Journal article

Concealed Structural Colors Uncovered by Light Scattering

Eser Metin Akinoglu, Jingchao Song, Calum Kinnear, Yafei Xue, Heyou Zhang, Ann Roberts, Juergen Koehler, Paul Mulvaney



Unusual structural colors are demonstrated in thin-film coatings due to a combination of optical interference and light scattering effects. These vivid colors are concealed under ambient illumination but can be observed when light is reflected from the film surface. The origin of the effect is explored computationally and it is shown that, in thin-films of lossless dielectrics coated on near-perfect conductors, incident electromagnetic waves form standing waves. Electric field intensities at the thin film interfaces are maximized for wavelengths that fulfil destructive interference conditions, while nanoscale roughness can enhance scattering at these boundaries. The interplay of these two fa..

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Awarded by Australian Government through the Australian Research Council

Awarded by Guangdong Innovative and Entrepreneurial Team Program

Funding Acknowledgements

The research leading to these results was funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council Grant CE170100026 and the Guangdong Innovative and Entrepreneurial Team Program 2016ZT06C517. E.M.A. acknowledges funding by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation through a Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship. Financial support by a Wilsmore fellowship granted by the University of Melbourne, as well as support by the Melbourne-Bayreuth Colloid/Polymer Network financed by the DAAD is gratefully acknowledged by J.K. This work was performed in part at the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication (MCN) in the Victorian Node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF). J.S. acknowledges the technical support provided by Dan Smith from MCN.