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The recent discovery of brilliant whiteness in ultrathin beetle scales indicated the availability of significant whiteness, brightness, and opacity from limited sample thickness. This is achieved in the beetle through optimization of the packing density of scattering centers in its elytral scales. Here, we directly test and apply this idea to whiteness and brightness in the production and appearance of mineral coatings on paper by varying the scattering center parameters that underpin itsdoi:10.1364/ao.48.003244 pmid:19516378 fatcat:v3rpalue6zbafcnad7mwe6xfwm