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23 February 2009 Reproduction, mass production, and control of the Morpho butterfly's blue
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Strucural color of some blue Morpho butterflies has a physically mysterious feature, because it has both high reflectivity (>60%) and a single color in too wide angular range (>±40° from the normal), which are contradicting with each other from viewpoint of the interference phenomena. We have recently proven the principle of the mystery by extracting the physical essence, and emulating the nano-structures using nano-fabrication techniques. The key was exquisite combination of regular and random structures at nanometer scale. Such artificial structural color was found to concern wide applications, because the Morpho-color can produce a single color without pigment in wide angular range with high reflectivity. Also it makes colors impossible by pigment, and is resistant to fading due to chemical change over longtime. However, we must overcome several "death valleys" for wide industrial applications. A serious problem was low throughput in the fabrication process of nano-patterning by the conventional lithography, which was solved by use of nano-imprinting technique. Next research step is attempts at a precise control of the optical properties, in both terms of real space and wavelength, i.e. angular distribution and spectrum. We could successfully optimize the optical properties by controlling the parameters of nano-structures in the artificial film. In this process, optical simulations and micro-structural observations were taken in account. The optimization was achieved both theoretically and empirically by comparing a series of films fabricated with different nano-patterns. Also the relationship between the structural parameters and the optical properties was analyzed. The reflective characteristics of the optimized film were found to reproduce the optical properties closer to the natural Morpho-blue than the prototypes.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Akira Saito, Yusuke Miyamura, Yoko Ishikawa, Junichi Murase, Megumi Akai-Kasaya, and Yuji Kuwahara "Reproduction, mass production, and control of the Morpho butterfly's blue", Proc. SPIE 7205, Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics II, 720506 (23 February 2009);

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