Guanine-based photonic crystals in fish scales form from an amorphous precursor

Dvir Gur, Yael Politi, Berta Sivan, Peter Fratzl, Steve Weiner, Lia Addadi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Starting from disorder: Anhydrous guanine crystals compose the photonic arrays responsible for the skin and scale iridescence found in Japanese Koi fish. These guanine crystals were found to form in intracellular vesicles (see picture) through an amorphous precursor phase. A combined cryo-SEM and synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction study showed the evolution of the crystals in great detail.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)388-391
Number of pages4
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2013


  • Amorphous materials
  • Biogenic guanine crystals
  • Photonic crystals
  • Structural colors
  • X-ray diffraction


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