Uncovering Hidden Dynamics of Natural Photonic Structures Using Holographic Imaging

J Vis Exp. 2022 Mar 31:(181). doi: 10.3791/63676.


In this method, the potential of optics and holography to uncover hidden details of a natural system's dynamical response at the nanoscale is exploited. In the first part, the optical and holographic studies of natural photonic structures are presented as well as conditions for the appearance of the photophoretic effect, namely, the displacement or deformation of a nanostructure due to a light-induced thermal gradient, at the nanoscale. This effect is revealed by real-time digital holographic interferometry monitoring the deformation of scales covering the wings of insects induced by temperature. The link between geometry and nanocorrugation that leads to the emergence of the photophoretic effect is experimentally demonstrated and confirmed. In the second part, it is shown how holography can be potentially used to uncover hidden details in the chemical system with nonlinear dynamics, such as the phase transition phenomenon that occurs in complex oscillatory Briggs-Rauscher (BR) reaction. The presented potential of holography at the nanoscale could open enormous possibilities for controlling and molding the photophoretic effect and pattern formation for various applications such as particle trapping and levitation, including the movement of unburnt hydrocarbons in the atmosphere and separation of different aerosols, decomposition of microplastics and fractionation of particles in general, and assessment of temperature and thermal conductivity of micron-size fuel particles.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Holography* / methods
  • Interferometry / methods
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Plastics


  • Plastics