Issue 48, 2018, Issue in Progress

Morpho butterfly-inspired optical diffraction, diffusion, and bio-chemical sensing


Morpho-butterfly is well-known for the blue colouration in its tiny wing scales and finds applications in colour filters, anti-reflecting coatings and optical devices. Herein, the structural optical properties of the Morpho peleides-butterfly wing scales were examined through light reflection, diffraction and optical diffusion. The light diffraction property from wing scales was investigated through experiments and computation modelling. Broadband reflection variation was observed from different parts of the dorsal wings at broadband light illumination due to tiny structural variations, as verified by electronic microscopic images. The periodic nanostructures showed well-defined first-order diffraction through monochromatic (red, green and blue) and broadband light at normal illumination. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) embedded with Morpho peleides-butterfly wing scales acts as an optical diffuser to produce soft light. Light diffraction and diffusion properties were measured by angle-resolve experiments, followed by computational modelling. The maximum optical diffusion property at ∼185° from the wing scales was observed using broadband light at normal illumination. Finally, Morpho peleides-butterfly based submicron nanostructures were utilized to demonstrate bio-inspired chemical sensing.

Graphical abstract: Morpho butterfly-inspired optical diffraction, diffusion, and bio-chemical sensing

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Article information

Article type
23 May 2018
17 Jul 2018
First published
30 Jul 2018
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

RSC Adv., 2018,8, 27111-27118

Morpho butterfly-inspired optical diffraction, diffusion, and bio-chemical sensing

R. Ahmed, X. Ji, Raghied M. H. Atta, A. A. Rifat and H. Butt, RSC Adv., 2018, 8, 27111 DOI: 10.1039/C8RA04382E

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