Abstract

The optical properties of colored wing scales of the Chrysiridia croesus moth were investigated experimentally and theoretically by reflection spectroscopy and ellipsometry. Transmission electron microscope micrographs show that the outer surfaces of these scales incorporate a fairly regular layered structure of alternating dense and less-dense material, which reflects light by the well-known thin-film interference process. A Monte Carlo–type simulation of the reflection process is discussed, which permits the determination of the complex index of refraction of the scale material.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. H. Chiradella, “Light and color on the wing: structural colors in butterflies and moths,” Appl. Opt. 30, 3492–3500 (1991).
    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. R. Guenter, Modern Optics (Wiley, New York, 1960), pp. 124–128.
  6. R. M. A. Azzam, N. M. Bashara, Ellipsometry and Polarized Light (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1989), pp. 153–160.
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    [CrossRef]

1996 (1)

1995 (1)

1991 (1)

1972 (1)

M. F. Land, “The physics and biology of animal reflectors,” Prog. Biophys. 24, 75–106 (1972).
[CrossRef]

1971 (1)

Azzam, R. M. A.

R. M. A. Azzam, N. M. Bashara, Ellipsometry and Polarized Light (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1989), pp. 153–160.

Bashara, N. M.

R. M. A. Azzam, N. M. Bashara, Ellipsometry and Polarized Light (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1989), pp. 153–160.

Brink, D. J.

Chiradella, H.

Clauser, M. J.

Detry, R. J.

Guenter, R.

R. Guenter, Modern Optics (Wiley, New York, 1960), pp. 124–128.

Land, M. F.

M. F. Land, “The physics and biology of animal reflectors,” Prog. Biophys. 24, 75–106 (1972).
[CrossRef]

Lee, M. E.

Loescher, D. H.

Möller, A.

Smit, J. E.

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Figures (10)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

TEM micrograph showing a cross section of the membrane of a purple wing scale.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Dependence of ellipsometer angle ψ on the angle of incidence for green, orange-pink (labeled orange), and purple wing scales. Points, experimental values; solid curves, best-fit calculated values.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Dependence of ellipsometer angle Δ on the angle of incidence for green, orange-pink (labeled orange), and purple wing scales. Points, experimental values; solid curves, best-fit calculated values.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Calculated reflection spectrum of an orange-pink scale with fixed values used for layer thickness. P and S refer to the polarization and 20 and 60 to the angle of incidence in this and all subsequent figures.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Measured spectrum of an orange-pink wing scale at 20° and 60° angles of incidence for S- and P-type reflections.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Calculated reflection spectrum of an orange-pink scale. Layer thickness was varied randomly by 10%. An average of 50 calculations was used.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Measured reflection spectrum of a green wing scale.

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

Simulated reflection spectrum of a green wing scale with the same conditions as for Fig. 6.

Fig. 9
Fig. 9

Measured reflection spectrum of a purple wing scale.

Fig. 10
Fig. 10

Simulated reflection spectrum of a purple wing scale with the same conditions as for Fig. 6.

Tables (1)

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Table 1 Number of Layers and Thicknesses of Colored Scales

Equations (2)

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r P r S j = tan   ψ j   exp i Δ j ,
Q = j ψ j - ψ j δ ψ j 2 + Δ j - Δ j δ Δ j 2 .

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