Photonic crystal type structure in bivalve ligament of Pinctada maxima
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- Zhang, G. Chin. Sci. Bull. (2007) 52: 1136. doi:10.1007/s11434-007-0142-z
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The dry ligament of Pinctada maxima normally appears black; however, it can exhibit striking blue structural colors after being wetted by water. The field-mission SEM investigation shows that the ligament is made of lamellae, which, about 35 μm thick, are made of proteins and aragonite fibers of about 78 nm in diameter. In each single lamella, the fibers are highly aligned characterized by a 2D photonic crystal type structure. According to measured reflective spectra and theoretical simulations, the dry and wet ligaments possess photonic stop band at ultraviolet and blue wavelengths, respectively, which are responsible for structural colorations of ligament.