Brennan Coulter
Jul 3, 2012

Moth Eyes inspire Better X-rays

Moths’ eyes may seem an odd source of inspiration for technology but, they shouldn’t. The compound eyes of the moth are remarkably anti-reflective. Which is why engineers have turned to them to inspire designs for more effective solar panels, anti-reflective military gear and now better x-rays. An international team of physicists has developed a new class of nano-material using moths’ eyes as inspiration. The thin 500 nm film is made of a “special type of crystal known as cerium-doped lutetium oxyorthosilicate” as reported by, and can intensify x-ray output up to 175% when placed on top of a scintillator -- “compounds that, when struck by incoming particles (say, X-ray photons), absorb the energy of the particles and then re-emit the absorbed energy in the form of light”. The current work still needs three to five years to test and perfect, but in the long term it stands reduce patient radiation dosage, increase imaging resolution, and aid smaller medical-imaging development.