DiatOp

Optical properties of diatom frustules: implications for biological oceanography and photonic optics

Coordination

Johann Lavaud

Project type

International

Funding

ISblue Émergence

Project duration

Start Date

20210401

End Date

20230430

Links

The landmark of diatom microalgae is their 3D siliceous cell wall, the frustule, which shows extremely refined nanostructures with unique optical properties. These nanostructures behave like photonic biocrystals which are similar to the ones used for diverse advanced technologies. Therefore, the nano-scale expertise of diatoms is more and more used in biomimetic nanotechnologies and nanophotonics. The DiatOp project proposes to explore the potential of diatoms, especially of benthic growth forms (i.e. which can form biofilms and which inhabit on/in substrates) as an emerging natural source of photonic material. The central objective of the project is the measurement of the frustule optical properties (absorption, focus, diffraction, etc.) in different growth forms (i.e. subtidal and intertidal) and species (i.e. different morphologies and sizes) of benthic diatoms.

The team

Contributors

  • Kevin Heggarty, Département d’Optique, IMT Atlantique, Plouzané
  •  Johannes Goessling, Department of Biology and CESAM-Center for Environmental and Marine Studies, Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal.
  •  João Serôdio, Department of Biology and CESAM-Center for Environmental and Marine Studies, Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal.