Display technology from University of California, San Diego uses light-diffracting microstructures to display vibrant, iridescent colors.


  • Reduced glare
  • Reduced energy usage
  • High-definition


  • Electronic displays
  • Security devices

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 9: Industry Innovation & Infrastructure

The Challenge

Current display technologies rely on energy-intensive, bright lights behind screens. These bright lights have been found to cause eye strain headaches and other health issues after prolonged use.

Innovation Details

The display technology has a microscopic 3D contour with nanoscale diffraction grating structures on the surface. These diffraction grating structures are printed using a novel nano-3D-printer. The combination of the grating structures and the microscopic curvature of the scales enables the fine-tuned separation and isolation of light into a variety of wavelengths, which enables the display of iridescent color.

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Biomimicry Story

Male rainbow peacock spiders showcase an intense rainbow iridescent signal as part of their courtship display toward females. They have tiny structured scales on their bodies that reflect the full visual spectrum of light. This method of manipulating light results in brilliant iridescent colors that also aid the spiders in camouflaging themselves and thermoregulation.