Biological and bio-inspired optics Faraday Discussion - Living Light edition

20 - 22 July 2020, This event is being held online., United Kingdom

Online event
The Royal Society of Chemistry are pleased to announce that this event will be moving online. This web page will be updated over the coming weeks with more details. If you have any questions please contact us at


Join us online in July 2020 for this virtual addition to our Faraday Discussion series. For over 100 years and 300 meetings, Faraday Discussions have been the forefront of physical chemistry. Many of these Discussions have become landmark meetings in their field. We are pleased to be working with the Living Light organisers for this edition in the series.

We invite you to join us to discuss the topic of Biological and bio-inspired optics and make your contribution to this cutting-edge dialogue alongside leaders in this field. This meeting is for established and early-career scientists, post-graduate students and industrial researchers interested in nature’s light manipulation strategies.

Silvia Vignolini

Format of the Discussion

Faraday Discussions remain amongst the only conferences to distribute the speakers’ research papers in advance, allowing the majority of each meeting to be devoted to discussion in which all delegates can participate.  Following each meeting a written record of the discussion is published alongside the papers in the Faraday Discussions journal.
Find out more about the Faraday Discussions in this video:

Scientific Themes

This Faraday Discussion will focus on the most recent developments in this exciting and rapidly evolving field. We will assess what we currently know about nature’s most intriguing light management techniques and review strategies for deriving advantages from this knowledge in bio-inspired materials. As this topic is very interdisciplinary, with connections spanning from biology and materials science to chemistry and physics, the unique format of the Faraday Discussion will provide a great platform for exchange between the different disciplines and facilitate novel collaborations.
The Faraday Discussion will be organised into the following themes: 

Optics and photonics in nature

Over the last decade as a community we have learned a lot about the fundamental principles underlying light-matter interactions in biological optical materials. However, many questions remain pertaining to the materials’ development, function, and compromises made by organisms to enable multiple functions. In this session, we want to explore these open questions and outline strategies to answer them. 

Bio-inspired optics

In this session, we aim to provide an overview of the recent progress in bio-inspired materials design with a critical discussion of representative examples of optical and photonic components that have been inspired by living organisms. In addition, we will stimulate a critical and constructive discussion about the true meaning of the term “bio-inspiration” that is often misused in the literature.

The role of structure: order vs disorder in bio-photonic systems

In this session, we will stimulate a discussion on concepts of controlling order and disorder in biological and bio-inspired photonic materials, on the importance of structural tolerances in achieving specific optical effects, and on advantages that can be gained from exploiting disorder and randomness in photonic structures for advanced materials design. 

The role of composition: natural materials vs synthetic composites

In this session, we will review recent progress in optical design using natural materials and discuss their properties and functions and the challenges that we need to address to make such materials a common staple in the optical engineer’s toolbox.

Abstract Submission

Oral Abstracts

A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions.
The deadline for oral abstracts and paper submission have now passed, however there remains an opportunity for a small number of late papers to be incorporated into the programme. If you are interested in submitting a paper for the Discussion please contact us to discuss.
Papers accepted for the Discussion must be full research papers with a significant amount of new, unpublished work and they are reviewed upon submission. Papers will be made available to all delegates at least  two weeks before the online meeting so they can be read in advance. At the meeting the presenting author is allowed five minutes to highlight the main points of their paper, and the rest of the time is for discussion. The discussion is recorded and will be published alongside the research paper in the Faraday Discussion Volume.

Poster Abstracts

Submit your poster abstract by 22 June 2020. The Faraday Division Poster Prize will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student at the conference.

We are transitioning to an online event and registration details will appear here in the coming days. During this time registration remains open and is encouraged, but we will not take payment at the time of booking. When we are able to provide an update on the Discussion we will write to you to ask you to log back into your booking to complete registration.
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Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities is available for companies who would like to promote their activities at Biological and bio-inspired optics Faraday Discussion 

If you would like more information about sponsoring Biological and bio-inspired optics Faraday Discussion , please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry (  Sponsorship Menu

This event is being held online., United Kingdom

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Organised by the Faraday Division in association with the Materials Chemistry Division
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