Optical structure and function of the white filamentary hair covering the edelweiss bracts

Jean Pol Vigneron, Marie Rassart, Z. Vértesy, K. Kertész, Michael Sarrazin, L. Bíró, Damien Ertz, Virginie Lousse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The optical properties of the inflorescence of the high- altitudeLeontopodium nivale subsp. alpinum (edelweiss) is investigated, in relation with its submicrometer structure, as determined by scanning electron microscopy. The filaments forming the hair layer have been found to exhibit an internal structure which may be one of the few examples of a photonic structure found in a plant. Measurements of light transmission through a self-supported layer of hair pads taken from the bracts supports the idea that the wooly layer covering the plant absorbs near-ultraviolet radiation before it reaches the cellular tissue. Calculations based on a photonic-crystal model provide insight on the way radiation can be absorbed by the filamentary threads.

Original languageEnglish
Article number011906
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume71
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005

Fingerprint

Optics and Photonics
hair
coverings
Covering
Radiation
Inflorescence
near ultraviolet radiation
photonics
Electron Scanning Microscopy
light transmission
threads
Filament
Scanning Electron Microscopy
Photonic Crystal
Photonics
Light
Ultraviolet
Thread
Optical Properties
filaments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Optical structure and function of the white filamentary hair covering the edelweiss bracts. / Vigneron, Jean Pol; Rassart, Marie; Vértesy, Z.; Kertész, K.; Sarrazin, Michael; Bíró, L.; Ertz, Damien; Lousse, Virginie.

In: Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, Vol. 71, No. 1, 011906, 01.2005.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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