About Lauren Zarzar's Work
Elucidating mechanisms by which light interacts with matter to generate characteristic spectral signatures has fundamental and applied impact in fields ranging from optics to surface science and applications as diverse as displays and sensors. We propose to explore a fundamentally divergent approach for generating structural color by controlling interference occurring when light undergoes multiple total internal reflections along a concave microscale interface (Nature, 2019). Unlike other structural color mechanisms (photonic crystals, gratings), this method does not require nanoscale periodicity. The different geometric requirements provide opportunities for exploiting structural color in materials where it previously could have not been utilized. We aim to develop predictive understanding of this mechanism, design materials with customized reflection spectra, and harness this phenomenon for probing fundamental interfacial and physical properties of materials.