Investigations and mimicry of the optical properties of butterfly wings

C.J. Summers, D.P. Gaillot, M. Crne, J. Blair, J.O. Park, M. Srinivasarao, O. Deparis, V. Welch, J.-P. Vigneron

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Structural color in Nature has been observed in plants, insects and birds, and has led to a strong interest in these phenomena and a desire to understand the mechanisms responsible. Of particular interest are the optical properties of butterflies. In this paper, we review three investigations inspired by the unique optical properties exhibited in a variety of butterfly wings. In the first investigation, conformal atomic layer depositions (ALDs) were used to exploit biologically defined 2D photonic crystal (PC) templates of Papilio blumei with the purpose of increasing the understanding of the optical effects of naturally formed dielectric architectures, and of exploring any novel optical effects. In the second study, it was demonstrated that faithful mimicry of Papilio palinurus can be achieved by physical fabrication methods through using breath figures to provide templates and ALD routines to enable optical properties. Finally, knowledge of the optical structure properties of the Princeps nireus butterfly has resulted in bioinspired designs to enhanced scintillator designs for radiation detection.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)489-501
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Nonlinear Optical Physics and Materials
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010


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