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Issue 7, 2010
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Study of natural photonic crystals in beetle scales and their conversion into inorganic structures via a sol–gel bio-templating route

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Abstract

The origin of the structural colors from several different examples of the weevil and longhorn families (Curculionidae and Cerambycidae, respectively) was investigated by structural and optical characterization techniques. A range of interesting three-dimensional photonic crystal structures operating at visible wavelengths was discovered, including both disordered and ordered non-close-packed lattices of cuticular spheres and bicontinuous diamond-based architectures. The discovered photonic structures display a large variation in lattice constants and dielectric filling fractions and thereby create optical reflectance colors spanning the entire visible range. To transform these bio-polymeric photonic crystals into heat and photo-stable inorganic structures, a low-temperature bio-templating method was developed. Using organic–inorganic hybrid silica sol–gel infiltration–templation chemistry combined with acid-etching template removal, stable inverse photonic structures were fabricated. The inverse structures display good structural quality and vivid reflection properties.

Graphical abstract: Study of natural photonic crystals in beetle scales and their conversion into inorganic structures via a sol–gel bio-templating route

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Jul 2009, accepted on 19 Aug 2009 and first published on 29 Sep 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B913217A
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2010,20, 1277-1284
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    Study of natural photonic crystals in beetle scales and their conversion into inorganic structures via a sol–gel bio-templating route

    J. W. Galusha, L. R. Richey, M. R. Jorgensen, J. S. Gardner and M. H. Bartl, J. Mater. Chem., 2010, 20, 1277
    DOI: 10.1039/B913217A

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