Nano Vision

Nano Vision is a wall of 3D hexagonal shapes lazer cut out out of white perspex. This white first layer will stick out from the wall approx. 1 meter. Within the view finder you will be able to see through the hexagon holes like “tunnels” which contain illuminated moving nano structures. This will be achieved through the use of programmed LEDS. The shifting programmed light of the LEDs will illuminate through the layers creating movement as if the molecular structure is assembling itself. This artwork will illustrate the structure “appearance” of layers of nano structures and highlight it’s materiality and “essence” through light and its interplay within a physical sculpture.


The artwork inspires students and visitors of the Nano Hub to be curious about the hidden world of nano structures. The illuminated sculpture can be enjoyed from di”erent eye levels. From up close, it invites onlookers to imagine what the nano scale looks like through moving light animation visuals. The sculpture explores the concept of molecules and atoms assemble themselves in various arrangements, both natural and human-developed. As it is proposed for the Teaching space, this artwork supports the methodologies of learning about Nano Science. Please watch the following video that demonstrates how light moves through layered laser cut perspex to create the illusion of a “3D structural space” (the video shows a prototype artwork by Laura Jade of a “brain” that illuminates the neural pathways with layers of laser etched perspex.):

Colloidal Crystal

The artwork Colloidal Crystal is a wall installation of 500 arranged crystal prisms that cleverly refract light. By mimicking the pattern of photonic crystals, the artwork creates a dynamic light scattering effect that collectively creates the appearance of a giant illuminated iridescent opal. (A colloid, in chemistry, is a substance of microscopically dispersed insoluble particles suspended throughout another substance. A natural example of this phenomenon can be found in precious opal, where brilliant regions of pure spectral color result from close-packedordered array of colloid particles.


The beautiful iridescence of opals is a manifestation of the fact that opals are natural 3D photonic crystals.Naturally occurring photonic structures provide us ideal ‘blueprints’ on design and stimulate similar optical functional devices.Colloidal self-assembly has been investigated as a promising and practical approach for the fabrication of photonic nanostructures, including colloidal crystals, composite and inverse opals, and photonic glasses.Recent achievements in the field of colloidal photonic nanostructures and their applications include displays, optical devices, photochemistry and biological sensors.The regular lattices of colloidal crystals exhibit reflection colors produced by light interference, such as the beautiful metallic luster observed in opals- they are referred to as structural colors as opposed to pigmented/chemical colours. One example is that if structural colors are used in a display, for instance, viewers can see the display clearly even under the high intensity of daytime light.

Photonic Butterflies

Photonic Butterflies are suspended butterfly sculptural forms that harness the pho!tonic properties of dichroic film- the surface of which magically shifts, shimmers and twinkles in response to shadows, light and movement. As the ambient light and shadow alternates in direction the butterflies send shards of coloured light that will interplay within the space.


Dichroic film has the same properties as the butterfly wings, in that the surface structure traps light and bounces it around to create the appearance of iridescence. The installation is an inspiring illustration of the different levels of a butterflies wing structure- the lines of the perspex rods are akin to the “ridges” that trap light at the wings nano-scale level, highlighting the materiality of photonics and the way light intinteracts within structures at a nano-scale to create alluring effects at the macro-scale.

Photonic Petals

Photonic Petals is a suspended chandelier of butterfly scales created out of laser cut Perspex that harness the photonic properties of dichroic film- the surface of which magically shifts, shimmers and twinkles mimicking the iridescent qualities of the Butterfies wing in response to shadows, light and movement. As the ambient light and shadow changes the Photonic Petals will refract shards of coloured light that will interplay throughout the space.


The wings of many butterflies are not pigmented. They obtain their colour by physically manipulating light. The photonic structures present on their surface at the nano scale selectively reflect certain frequencies of light, with extreme specificity and efficiency. Dichroic film was chosen as it has the same properties as the butterfly wings in that the surface structure, traps light and bounces it around to create the appearance of iridescence. The organically falling “petals” create a symbol that highly assembled structures can be pulled apart and manipulated. This is the essence of nano science materiality. The rearrangement of nature, or biology, and to be inspired by nature (bio mimicry), to create our own intellectual bio nano systems. The Surface of the petals also references the play of light with in Australian opals, another naturally occurring material with photonic properties.

Nano Scope

The artwork Nano Scope consists of a giant Teleidoscope to be situated as a freestanding interactive moving sculpture in the outside courtyard of the Nano Hub. The interactive instrument brings art and science together through a mirrored viewfinder, which breaks up the macroscopic world into tiny fragments, allowing users to imagine the patterned world of nature at the Nano scale. The imagery seen through the scope is entirely clear and real, the crystal prism flips the wide-angle view and focuses the outside world into the view finder. The Nano Scope creates a fragmented vision of the surrounding world, which includes the Nano Hub building and the trees, a vision that inspires us to see the physical world as a place where all materials have nano properties to be explored and discovered.


The Nano Scope is inspired by the invention of the microscope and telescope. Both these inventions revolutionized science by expanding our worldview enormously in two directions- outwards into space and inwards towards the fundamental building blocks of life. Now, with Nano Science research and technology, we have the ability to see even deeper into the essence of all things. With the ability to see the structures of nature we have also cultivated the creativity to manipulate these structures. The Nano Scope celebrates the technologies we have developed to see the patterns in all of nature. The Scope will transform the institutional atmosphere of the Nano Hub courtyard into a zone of playfulness and wonder.