Abstract: The coloration of butterflies that exhibit human visible iridescence from violet to green has been elucidated. Highly tilted multilayers of cuticle on the ridges, which were found in the scales of male S. charonda and E. mulciber butterflies, produce a limited-view, selective wavelength iridescence (ultraviolet (UV)~green) as a result of multiple interference between the cuticle-air layers. The iridescence from C. ataxus originates from multilayers in the groove plates between the ridges and ribs. The interference takes place between the top and bottom surfaces of each layer and incoherently between different layers. Consequently, the male with the layers that are ~270 nm thick reflects light of UV~560 nm (green) and the female with the layers that are ~191 nm thick reflects light of UV~400 nm (violet). T. aeacus does not produce the iridescent sheen which T. magellanus does. No iridescent sheen is ascribed to microrib layers, which are perpendicular to the scale plane, so that they cannot reflect any backscattering. The structures of these butterflies would provide us helpful hints to manipulate light in photoelectric devices, such as blue or UV LEDs.
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Mika, F.; Matějková-Plšková, J.; Jiwajinda, S.; Dechkrong, P.; Shiojiri, M. Photonic Crystal Structure and Coloration of Wing Scales of Butterflies Exhibiting Selective Wavelength Iridescence. Materials 2012, 5, 754-771.
Mika F, Matějková-Plšková J, Jiwajinda S, Dechkrong P, Shiojiri M. Photonic Crystal Structure and Coloration of Wing Scales of Butterflies Exhibiting Selective Wavelength Iridescence. Materials. 2012; 5(5):754-771.
Mika, Filip; Matějková-Plšková, Jiřina; Jiwajinda, Suratwadee; Dechkrong, Punyavee; Shiojiri, Makoto. 2012. "Photonic Crystal Structure and Coloration of Wing Scales of Butterflies Exhibiting Selective Wavelength Iridescence." Materials 5, no. 5: 754-771.