From virtual reality headsets that provide amazing hyper-real experiences to more precise medical imaging that can potentially save lives, a recent breakthrough in photonic and optic technologies by researchers from Swinburne University of Technology could vastly enhance our digital experiences. And it was all inspired by the intricate structure of a butterfly wing.
Based on the science of light, optics and photonics are used in almost every aspect of our day-to-day lives – from our computer screens to mobile phones. Many scientists believe that photonic and optic technologies are the key to our future, which is why developments like this are so significant.
Led by Dr Zongsong Gan from Swinburne’s Centre for Micro-Photonics, the researchers used a special printing technique to create tiny artificial nanostructures – similar to those found in the iridescent wings of a butterfly – that respond to light at ultrafast speeds. Because of their tiny size, these structures could be the impetus for a huge range of more compact light based electronics that have super-resolution, are three-dimensional and are mechanically strong.
Thanks to breakthroughs such as this, the future literally looks brighter. And it’s another reason why continued funding for our universities is essential if we are to keep Australia clever.
For further reading, please visit Swinburne University of Technology.