Mystery of why ‘structural red’ colours are not found in nature is solved

Published in Chemistry World, 6 Jan 2015

Purple, green, blue – photonic glasses can produce a wide variety of colours. But not red, which is mysteriously absent from both manmade and natural microstructures. Now, researchers in the US and South Korea have revealed the reason why, and have a method to produce the missing colour that could have applications in the computer-display industry.

A lot of colours are the result of pigmentation – chemicals that absorb certain wavelengths of light, leaving the remaining reflected wavelengths to make up the colour that is seen. But colours can also appear when rays of light are scattered off microstructures, interfering constructively with one another at certain wavelengths. […]

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