Selective multilayer thin-film development in insects
American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Bioengineering Division (Publication) BED
Multilayer structures of biological thin films play numerous roles in insects, plants, lizards, and birds Due to microscale radiative effects, small changes in the film thicknesses result in large changes in reflected sunlight and solar absorption. Through selective variations of the thin-film thicknesses and structures, nature has used multilayer structures for a variety of purposes. In butterflies, the thin films result in a colorful iridescence that is used for signaling, courting, camouflage, and display. Moreover, these thin films appear to be multifunctional; the light not reflected is absorbed for thermoregulation purposes. Variations of thin films in butterfly scales of different species results in different spectral and total reflectivity characteristics. An experimental apparatus was used to measure the spectral reflectivity from single scales, ∼100 μm long. Images of the illuminated scales reveal the effect of the microstructure on the optical properties.
Miaoulis, I., Tada, H., Mann, S., & Wong, P. (1997). Selective multilayer thin-film development in insects. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Bioengineering Division (Publication) BED, 37, 33-40. Retrieved from https://docs.rwu.edu/seccm_fp/157