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Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2015 Oct 12;54(42):12426-30. doi: 10.1002/anie.201502268. Epub 2015 Apr 27.

The mechanism of color change in the neon tetra fish: a light-induced tunable photonic crystal array.

Author information

1
Department of Structural Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100 (Israel).
2
Department of Physics of Complex Systems Institution, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, (Israel).
3
Department of Biomaterials, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, 14424 Potsdam (Germany).
4
Department of Structural Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100 (Israel). lia.addadi@weizmann.ac.il.

Abstract

The fresh water fish neon tetra has the ability to change the structural color of its lateral stripe in response to a change in the light conditions, from blue-green in the light-adapted state to indigo in the dark-adapted state. The colors are produced by constructive interference of light reflected from stacks of intracellular guanine crystals, forming tunable photonic crystal arrays. We have used micro X-ray diffraction to track in time distinct diffraction spots corresponding to individual crystal arrays within a single cell during the color change. We demonstrate that reversible variations in crystal tilt within individual arrays are responsible for the light-induced color variations. These results settle a long-standing debate between the two proposed models, the "Venetian blinds" model and the "accordion" model. The insight gained from this biogenic light-induced photonic tunable system may provide inspiration for the design of artificial optical tunable systems.

KEYWORDS:

X-ray diffraction; biomineralization; guanine crystals; structural colors; tunable photonic crystals

PMID:
25914222
DOI:
10.1002/anie.201502268
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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