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Research Zernike (ZIAM) News

Bioinspired Materials - Stavenga reveals intricate photonic system of spider colours

12 August 2016
Maratus splendens (photo J. Otto)
Maratus splendens (photo J. Otto)

A recent article on the physics of colouration in the peacock spider Maratus splendens by Doekele Stavenga and colleagues was featured on the cover of the August issue of the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. The colour of the spider's blue scales is generated by an intricate photonic system made of filament arrays inside a multilayer. This arrangement constitutes a novel structural colouration system, which subtly fine-tunes the reflectance that results in the stunning blue coloration of the spider. Stavenga's work directly attracted the interest of National Geographic and Science, who featured it on their websites.

More information can also be found in the blog of the Royal Society or on the website of the Bioinspired Materials Center of the University of Fribourg.

D. G. Stavenga et al., Splendid coloration of the peacock spider Maratus splendens. J. R. Soc. Interface 13: 20160437;


Prof. Doekele G. Stavenga
Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials
Computational Physics
University of Groningen
Nijenborgh 4
NL-9747 AG Groningen
The Netherlands
Tel.: +31 50 363 4785
e-mail: D.G.Stavenga

Last modified:19 March 2019 12.08 p.m.

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