Greek scientists copy τ the cicadas

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Greek scientists, mostly from University of Crete, proceeded to a important invention which they patented with patent. This is minimizing reflection from glass surfaces up to 99%. A series of insects, and mainly cicadas were an inspiration to the scientific community because of their transparent wings.

“There are various insects, whether endogenous or abroad, which have important anti-reflective properties on their wings,” explains Vangelis Skoulas, Technology Officer of the start-up Biomimetic, to APE-MPE and continues: “Some of them are cicadas that we know or the butterfly with the “glass wings” and some species of moth that in the eye use corresponding mechanisms. This is the result of evolutionary pressure and thousands of years of evolution. It happens to insects so that predators do not spot them above the trees when there is light, so that they do not mirror their wings and are easier victims.

The wings of the cicada have some tiny morphological abnormalities which create the coveted anti-reflectivity. In other words, these are nanostructures that deceive the light and so it is not reflected so strongly. The five founding members of the start-up managed to copy these structures and sculpt them with laser beams on glass surfaces. “Nature impresses with its ability to find solutions and the scientific community is inspired by it. “Biomimetic is a technoblast company that comes from the Institute of Technology and Research and specifically the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser”, says to APE-MPE the person in charge of electronics and automation of the start-up, Andreas Lemonis.

This pantheon could offer solutions to a number of issues that to date seem perfect. For example, in photovoltaic parks, light reflection reduces the permeability and therefore the greater utilization of solar energy. “What we have achieved is a very important innovation. We do a treatment in a unique way, we do not use chemicals “, points out V. Skoulas. “Biomimetics existed in classes we did at the university, in the Department of Materials, which was me. The privilege we have today, unlike in previous years, is that we did not have to notice anything. We read studies from foreign universities on the subject and were inspired by them. We saw that we can reproduce something similar in glasses. We went out, caught cicadas to see the performance of their wings. We did come in contact with nature, to be sure and to prove what the study says. Today a young scientist finds a tremendous amount of knowledge through the internet. We were inspired by a paper that came out in 2017 “, adds the Technology Manager of the start-up.

Thanks to its innovative idea, Biomimetic managed to obtain financing from a Greek investment scheme and the European Investment Fund of 900 thousand euros. During this time he has talks with giant companies and is building partnerships. Research continues as many elements of nature have properties that could provide solutions to a number of similar issues. The leaves of plants for example have chemical compositions with good adhesion to water, which makes them waterproof.

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