Hoplia coerulea, a porous natural photonic structure as template of optical vapour sensor

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Natural photonic structures found on the cuticle of insects are known to give rise to astonishing structural colours. These ordered porous structures are made of biopolymers, such as chitin, and some of them possess the property to change
colour according to the surrounding atmosphere composition. This phenomenon is still not completely understood. We investigated the structure found on the cuticle of the male beetle Hoplia coerulea (Scarabaeidae). The structure, in this
case, consists in a 1D periodic porous multilayer inside scales, reflecting incident light in the blue. The colour variations were quantified by reflectance spectral measurements using water, ethanol and acetone vapours. A 1D scattering matrix formalism was used for modelling light reflection on the photonic multilayer. The origin of the reported colour changes has to be tracked in variations of the effective refractive index and of the photonic structure dimensions. This remarkable phenomenon observed for a non-open but still porous multilayer could be very interesting for vapour sensing applications and smart glass windows.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSPIE Proceedings
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2014
EventSPIE Conference - Photonics Europe 2014 - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 14 Apr 201417 Apr 2014


ConferenceSPIE Conference - Photonics Europe 2014


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