The purpose of this project is to create a chameleon-inspired biomimetic material using guanine crystals and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) to form a tunable photonic crystal and then characterize the material. The method for developing this material is to first synthesize a photonic crystal made of a guanine microsphere lattice. Then embed the guanine lattice in PDMS. Since PDMS is an elastomer, it can be stretched to adjust the spacing between the guanine crystals. This should allow for the photonic crystal to be adjusted similarly to the way that the chameleon adjusts the photonic crystal in its skin by changing the spacing between the guanine particles. The material is characterized primarily through qualitative observations and scanning electron microscopy. It will be shown that the guanine microspheres are successfully synthesized. Two potential methods for embedding the guanine microspheres in PDMS are developed, experimented with, and explained. A third potential method is explored, but no experimentation was done with this method.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2019


Thomas W. Jarvis

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Physics and Astronomy

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Physics, Geosciences, and Astronomy

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Physics and Astronomy