Evolutionary Photonics for Renewable Energy, Nanomedicine, and Advanced Material Engineering

Gael Favraud, Juan Sebastian Totero Gongora, Andrea Fratalocchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Taking inspiration from complex natural phenomena such as chaos and unpredictability, as well as highly optimized organisms constituted by multitudes of interacting cells, evolutionary photonics aims at developing new sustainable technologies for renewable energy production, bioimaging, and scalable materials with advanced optical functionalities. These photonics systems integrate complex dielectric and/or metallic units into large networks of heterogeneous elements, which are entirely controlled by acting on the interactions among the different units that compose the network. This Review presents a selection of recent results in this research field, discussing advantages, challenges and perspectives of this technology in addressing global challenges in several scientific areas, ranging from broadband light energy harvesting, to scalable clean water production, early-stage cancer detection, sensing, artificial intelligence, invisible structures, and to large-scale optical materials with programmable functionality and robust structural coloration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1700028
JournalLaser and Photonics Reviews
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • bioimaging
  • complex optical systems
  • epsilon-near-zero
  • nanophotonics
  • nanoplasmonics
  • renewable energy
  • transformation optics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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