A color generation mechanism inspired by nature

Researchers have discovered a novel color-generation mechanism in nature, which if harnessed, has the potential to create cosmetics and paints with purer and more vivid hues, screen displays that project the same true image when viewed from any angle, and even reduce the signal loss in optical fibers.

Researchers at the Yale-NUS College and the University of Fribourg in Switzerland examined the rainbow-colored patterns in the elytra (wing casings) of a snout weevil from the Philippines, Pachyrrhynchus congestus pavonius, using high-energy X-rays, and performed detailed scanning electron microscopy and optical modelling. They discovered that to produce the rainbow palette of colors, the weevil utilized a color-generation mechanism that is so far found only in squid, cuttlefish, and octopuses, which are renowned for their color-shifting camouflage. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Small.

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