The present project aims to use the silk proteins, fibroin and sericin, in the development of flexible substrates that are efficient in the generation, detection or manipulation of light. For this, initially, fibroin will be used, together with nanoparticles and laser dye, in the preparation of diffraction gratings to study the phenomena of DFB and random laser emission. In the case of sericin, structural modifications will be carried out in the protein, aiming at obtaining self-supporting and resistant films, via the addition of network-forming molecules, containing photosensitive groups, such as resins/molecules derived from methacrylate or epoxy groups, or even silanes modified by these groups. The photosensitive materials obtained will allow the creation of patterns by mechanical engraving during curing photolithography, laser writing or holographic techniques and, with this, holograms, Bragg gratings or channel waveguides, as well as films that present structural colors, will be prepared to from these new materials. Subsequently, different lanthanide ions (Ln3+) will be added, aiming at the development of new nanostructured and luminescent composite systems. The choice of these ions will be carried out according to the application of interest. In order to obtain random laser emitting devices with circular polarization, chiral metallic nanoparticles must be prepared and added to protein substrates. The materials obtained in this project will be systematically evaluated regarding their structures, mechanical and spectroscopic properties, and tested regarding their possible photonic applications.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: