Review on visible light reflection

Multilayer subwavelength gratings or sandwiches with periodic structure shape light reflection in the tapetum lucidum of taxonomically diverse vertebrate animals

Lidia Zueva, Astrid Zayas-Santiago, Legier Rojas, Priscila Sanabria, Janaina Alves, Vassiliy Tsytsarev, Mikhail Inyushin


Eye shine in the dark has attracted many researchers to the field of eye optics, but the initial studies of subwavelength arrangements in tapetum began only with the development of electronic microscopy at the end of the 20th century. As a result of a number of studies, it was shown that the reflective properties of the tapetum are due to their specialized cellular subwavelength microstructure (photonic crystals). These properties, together with the mutual orientation of the crystals, lead to a significant increase in reflection, which, in turn, enhances the sensitivity of the eye. In addition, research confirmed that optical mechanisms of reflection in the tapetum are very similar even for widely separated species. Due to progress in the field of nano-optics, researchers now have a better understanding of the main principles of this phenomenon. In this review, we summarize electron microscopic and functional studies of tapetal structures in the main vertebrate classes. This allows data on the microstructure of the tapetum to be used to improve our understanding of the visual system

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