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Optical Detection of Vapor Mixtures Using Structurally Colored Butterfly and Moth Wings

1
Institute of Technical Physics and Materials Science, Centre for Energy Research, P.O. Box 49, H-1525 Budapest, Hungary
2
Hungarian Natural History Museum, 13 Baross St., H-1088 Budapest, Hungary
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(14), 3058; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19143058
Received: 14 May 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors)
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Abstract

Photonic nanoarchitectures in the wing scales of butterflies and moths are capable of fast and chemically selective vapor sensing due to changing color when volatile vapors are introduced to the surrounding atmosphere. This process is based on the capillary condensation of the vapors, which results in the conformal change of the chitin-air nanoarchitectures and leads to a vapor-specific optical response. Here, we investigated the optical responses of the wing scales of several butterfly and moth species when mixtures of different volatile vapors were applied to the surrounding atmosphere. We found that the optical responses for the different vapor mixtures fell between the optical responses of the two pure solvents in all the investigated specimens. The detailed evaluation, using principal component analysis, showed that the butterfly-wing-based sensor material is capable of differentiating between vapor mixtures as the structural color response was found to be characteristic for each of them. View Full-Text
Keywords: butterfly wing; moth wing; photonic crystal; vapor sensing; vapor mixture; principal component analysis; chemical selectivity; optical readout butterfly wing; moth wing; photonic crystal; vapor sensing; vapor mixture; principal component analysis; chemical selectivity; optical readout
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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. Optical Detection of Vapor Mixtures Using Structurally Colored Butterfly and Moth Wings. Sensors 2019, 19, 3058.

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