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Solar energy harvesting in the epicuticle of the oriental hornet (Vespa orientalis)

Solar energy harvesting in the epicuticle of the oriental hornet (Vespa orientalis)
Solar energy harvesting in the epicuticle of the oriental hornet (Vespa orientalis)
The Oriental hornet worker correlates its digging activity with solar insolation. Solar radiation passes through the epicuticle, which exhibits a grating-like structure, and continues to pass through layers of the exo-endocuticle until it is absorbed by the pigment melanin in the brown-colored cuticle or xanthopterin in the yellow-colored cuticle. The correlation between digging activity and the ability of the cuticle to absorb part of the solar radiation implies that the Oriental hornet may harvest parts of the solar radiation. In this study, we explore this intriguing possibility by analyzing the biophysical properties of the cuticle. We use rigorous coupled wave analysis simulations to show that the cuticle surfaces are structured to reduced reflectance and act as diffraction gratings to trap light and increase the amount absorbed in the cuticle. A dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) was constructed in order to show the ability of xanthopterin to serve as a light-harvesting molecule.
0028-1042
1067-1076
Plotkin, M.
f3c35659-22bd-4783-a7ff-cc96d4cba199
Hod, I.
4e02a5fb-1130-4683-88e6-5679397424a2
Zaben, A.
5d5022d5-fff7-4297-90fa-64501b8b4d84
Boden, S. A.
83976b65-e90f-42d1-9a01-fe9cfc571bf8
Bagnall, D. M.
5d84abc8-77e5-43f7-97cb-e28533f25ef1
Galushko, D.
1162fadc-2fe4-497b-b9f8-c910e0335298
Bergman, D. J.
e467f91a-1881-4a6b-b3a3-2365c29c1f31
Plotkin, M.
f3c35659-22bd-4783-a7ff-cc96d4cba199
Hod, I.
4e02a5fb-1130-4683-88e6-5679397424a2
Zaben, A.
5d5022d5-fff7-4297-90fa-64501b8b4d84
Boden, S. A.
83976b65-e90f-42d1-9a01-fe9cfc571bf8
Bagnall, D. M.
5d84abc8-77e5-43f7-97cb-e28533f25ef1
Galushko, D.
1162fadc-2fe4-497b-b9f8-c910e0335298
Bergman, D. J.
e467f91a-1881-4a6b-b3a3-2365c29c1f31

Plotkin, M., Hod, I., Zaben, A., Boden, S. A., Bagnall, D. M., Galushko, D. and Bergman, D. J. (2010) Solar energy harvesting in the epicuticle of the oriental hornet (Vespa orientalis). The Science of Nature, 97, 1067-1076.

Record type: Article

Abstract

The Oriental hornet worker correlates its digging activity with solar insolation. Solar radiation passes through the epicuticle, which exhibits a grating-like structure, and continues to pass through layers of the exo-endocuticle until it is absorbed by the pigment melanin in the brown-colored cuticle or xanthopterin in the yellow-colored cuticle. The correlation between digging activity and the ability of the cuticle to absorb part of the solar radiation implies that the Oriental hornet may harvest parts of the solar radiation. In this study, we explore this intriguing possibility by analyzing the biophysical properties of the cuticle. We use rigorous coupled wave analysis simulations to show that the cuticle surfaces are structured to reduced reflectance and act as diffraction gratings to trap light and increase the amount absorbed in the cuticle. A dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) was constructed in order to show the ability of xanthopterin to serve as a light-harvesting molecule.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 29 October 2010
Organisations: Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 272656
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/272656
ISSN: 0028-1042
PURE UUID: 79fe5a73-1574-4321-aded-027750f8a6ed
ORCID for S. A. Boden: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4232-1828

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Aug 2011 13:12
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:43

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