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Sensors 2016, 16(9), 1446;

Pretreated Butterfly Wings for Tuning the Selective Vapor Sensing

Institute of Technical Physics and Materials Science, Centre for Energy Research, H-1525 Budapest, P.O. Box 49, Hungary
Hungarian Natural History Museum, H-1088 Budapest, Baross utca 13, Hungary
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: W. Rudolf Seitz
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 28 July 2016 / Accepted: 2 August 2016 / Published: 7 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1521 KB, uploaded 7 September 2016]   |  


Photonic nanoarchitectures occurring in the scales of Blue butterflies are responsible for their vivid blue wing coloration. These nanoarchitectures are quasi-ordered nanocomposites which are constituted from a chitin matrix with embedded air holes. Therefore, they can act as chemically selective sensors due to their color changes when mixing volatile vapors in the surrounding atmosphere which condensate into the nanoarchitecture through capillary condensation. Using a home-built vapor-mixing setup, the spectral changes caused by the different air + vapor mixtures were efficiently characterized. It was found that the spectral shift is vapor-specific and proportional with the vapor concentration. We showed that the conformal modification of the scale surface by atomic layer deposition and by ethanol pretreatment can significantly alter the optical response and chemical selectivity, which points the way to the efficient production of sensor arrays based on the knowledge obtained through the investigation of modified butterfly wings. View Full-Text
Keywords: butterfly wing; biomaterial; photonic crystal; vapor sensing; atomic layer deposition; optical spectroscopy butterfly wing; biomaterial; photonic crystal; vapor sensing; atomic layer deposition; optical spectroscopy

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Piszter, G.; Kertész, K.; Bálint, Z.; Biró, L.P. Pretreated Butterfly Wings for Tuning the Selective Vapor Sensing. Sensors 2016, 16, 1446.

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