The researchers, from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia and Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany, have produced a photonic crystal that can split both left and right circularly polarised light.
The design for this crystal was inspired by the Callophrys Rubi butterfly, also known as the Green Hairstreak. This butterfly has 3D nano-structures within its wings which give them their vibrant green colour. Other insects also have nano-structures that provide colour, but the Callophrys Rubi has one important difference.
"This butterfly's wing contains an immense array of interconnected nano-scale coiled springs that form a unique optical material.
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