Erzsebet Vincent

UC Santa Barbara
Chemical Engineering

Optical Properties of Cephalopod Skin

Cephalopods have the remarkable ability to quickly and effectively change their color to camouflage themselves using sacs of pigment in their skin called chromatophores. Because these chromatophores are dynamic, the organism is able to expand or contract them at will, allowing it to alter its coloration almost instantly. While this mechanism has been extensively examined from a biological standpoint, relatively little research has examined it from an optical perspective.  Our research seeks to characterize the optical properties of cephalopod skin, such as absorption and fluorescence, which may aid its capacity for disguise.  This characterization of the skin will expand our understanding of it as a material, and may lead to further insight into how to harness its unique properties for new adaptive optical technologies.

UC Santa Barbara Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships UCSB California NanoSystems Institute