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Materials 2012, 5(5), 754-771; doi:10.3390/ma5050754
Review

Photonic Crystal Structure and Coloration of Wing Scales of Butterflies Exhibiting Selective Wavelength Iridescence

1,* , 1,†
, 2
, 2
 and 3,‡
Received: 21 March 2012; in revised form: 11 April 2012 / Accepted: 12 April 2012 / Published: 30 April 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Materials and Applications)
Download PDF [953 KB, uploaded 30 April 2012]
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.
Keywords: butterfly scale; structure color; natural photonic crystal; E. mulciber; S. charonda; C. ataxus; T. aeacus butterfly scale; structure color; natural photonic crystal; E. mulciber; S. charonda; C. ataxus; T. aeacus
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

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.

AMA Style

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.

Chicago/Turabian Style

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.


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