Chinese Science Bulletin

, 54:535 | Cite as

Microstructure and structural color in wing scales of butterfly Thaumantis diores

Articles/Bionic Engineering


The butterfly Thaumantis diores is a species in the Northeast of China. There are two kinds of scales on its wings, which overlap like roof tiles and completely cover the membrane. The SEM results showed that only Type-I scales play a key role in forming the blue structural color. Type-II scales have black chemical color. The cross section micro-configuration of scales is achieved by using the transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The brilliant blue generated through the multilayer microstructure is explained by the photonic crystal reason. The multilayer microstructure of the ridges is optimized to 1D Bragg stack for simulation. The reflectivity of the wing is measured by a spectrometer, and the experimental graph accord with the simulation curves basically. When this species fly, the wing’s color and brightness can change because of the transform between structural color and chemical color. The bionic color-changing design and the significance of this effect in video stealth or other fields are discussed at the end of the paper.


butterfly scale structural color photonic crystal 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Terrain-Machine Bionics Engineering, Ministry of EducationJilin UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.College of vehicle & motive power engineeringHenan University of Science and TechnologyLuoyangChina

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