|The Beetle project investigates if it is possible
to mimic the colour and mirror effects found in nature and
produce similar micro- and nanostructures artificially.
The hope is to produce coloured and reflective surfaces
using the same principles as nature and achieving benefits
like new visual effects, new and brighter colours, better
reflections, more long lasting surfaces and better
environmental performance with respect to pollution and
use of resources. The surfaces should be complex
free-formed and it should be possible to coat dielectric
materials with low melting points like polymers.
The resulting technology is intended to be used in a broad
range of consumer products as well as architectural
elements. It would be a more environmentally friendly
alternative to pigment based paint and metallization.
Furthermore the new aesthetic possibilities will help
industrial designers and architects in creating attractive
appearances in future products. This is important in many
industrial sectors, since aesthetics and product
appearance is becoming an increasingly significant
position parameter. The project searches for alternative
coating principles, materials and microstructuring
principles, and experimentally try to produce coatings
with the vivid colour effects and metallic reflections
seen in the beetle shells.
Diatom algea are studied in order to utilize the natural
photonic structures as filters and pigments in paint, sun
screens and polymers.
The project also examines the material innovation process
by mapping the progress and identifying key factors
important for idea generation, phenomena analysis,
requirement understanding, solution generation as well as
the accept and propagation of the found solutions.
Torben Lenau and Michael Barfoed,
of Management Engineering
University of Denmark
L.H.Shu, T.A.Lenau, H.N.Hansen, L.Alting: Biomimetics applied
to centeringin micro-assembly, CIRP-annals 2003,
vol 52/1/2003, p.101-104.
Torben Lenau, Michael Barfoed and Li Shu: Challenges in
biomimetic design and innovation, Poster at the
conference 'Bioinspired Nanotechnologies for Smarter
Products', 20th - 21st March 2007 at the Society of
Chemical Industry, London, organised by The Institute of
Lenau and Michael Barfoed: Material
Innovation - inspired by nature, Danish Metallurgical
Society - Annual Winter Meeting, Middelfart 10-12
January 2007, 10 pages.
Torben Lenau and Michael Barfoed: Teknisk udvikling med
inspiration i naturen, Teknisk Nyt Special, Nr. 5a, Vol.
14, April 2007, p.25-26.
Torben Lenau and Michael Barfoed: Colours and metallic
sheen in beetle shells- a biomimetic search for
material structuring principles causing light
interference, Journal of Advanced Engineering
Materials, vol.10, no. 4, 2008, 299-314, DOI:
Torben Lenau, Hyunmin Cheong and Li Shu: Sensing in nature - using
biomimetics for design of sensors, Sensor Review,
Vol 28-4, 2008, p.311-316.
Bionik - med naturen som forbillede (Biomimetics - with
nature as a role model), Danmarks Radio p1 Videnskabens
Verden 4. oktober 2008 16-17, can be heard or pod-casted
as a design methodology – possibilities and challenges,
International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED'09
24 - 27 august 2009, Stanford University, Stanford, CA,
Torben Lenau: Approaches
to mimic the metallic sheen in beetles, SPIE
Optics & Photonics - The Biomimetics and
Bioinspiration conference, 2-6 August 2009, San Diego,
T. (2012) Nature inspired structural colour
applications, In: Biomimetic in Photonics, ed. Olaf
Karthaus, CRC Press p. 72-96 (Series in Optics and
Kinoshita and S. Yoshioka, Structural colors in nature.
A role of regularity and irregularity in the structure,
ChemPhysChem 6, 1443-1459 (2005), (DOI:
A. C. Neville; Biology of the Arthropod Cuticle;
Andrew R. Parker, David R. McKenzie and Maryanne C. J.
Large; Multilayer reflectors in animals using green and
gold beetles as contrasting examples; Department of
Physics, Dublin Institute of Applied Physics, Dublin,
Ireland; J. exp. biol. 201, p. 1307-1313, 1998.
Andrew Richard Parker; 515 million years of structural
colour; University of Oxford, UK; J. Opt. A: Pure Appl.
Opt. 2 (2000) R15-R28.
Jean Pol Vigneron, Marrie Rassart, Cédric Vandenbem,
Virginie Lousse, Oliver Deparis, László P. Biró, Daniel
Dedouaire, Alan Cornet, and Pierre Defrance; Spectral
filtering of visible light by the cuticle of metallic
woodboring beetles and microfabrication of a matching
bioinspired material; Universitaires Notre-Dame de la
Paix, Bruxelles, Belgium, Stanford University,
California, USA, Research Institute for Technical
Physics and Materals Science, Budapest, Hungary;
Physical Review E 73, 041905 pp. 1-8 (2006).
Pete Vukusic and Roy Sambles: ”Photonic structures in
biology”, Nature 424, 852-855, 14/8 2003.