Fish skin points to better LEDs

A trick of the light evolved by silvery fish to avoid predators could help improve optical devices like LEDs, according to a study in Nature Photonics.

While polarisation has many applications in photonics, non-polarising devices are also important. The research – abstract here — took a look at how fish such as sardines and herring reflect light without polarising it.

PhD student Tom Jordan from the Bristol Centre for Complexity Sciences, and his supervisors Professor Julian Partridge and Dr Nicholas Roberts in Bristol’s School of Biological Sciences, found that these fish avoid reflecting polarised light by having two types of reflective crystals in their skins.

The crystals are guanine, which as Discovery points out is also a component of guano. A single guanine crystal layer in the scales would polarise the light reflected, which would also dim the reflected light — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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