Pretreated butterfly wings for tuning the selective vapor sensing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Photonic nanoarchitectures occurring in the scales of Blue butterflies are responsible for their vivid blue wing coloration. These nanoarchitectures are quasi-ordered nanocomposites which are constituted from a chitin matrix with embedded air holes. Therefore, they can act as chemically selective sensors due to their color changes when mixing volatile vapors in the surrounding atmosphere which condensate into the nanoarchitecture through capillary condensation. Using a home-built vapor-mixing setup, the spectral changes caused by the different air + vapor mixtures were efficiently characterized. It was found that the spectral shift is vapor-specific and proportional with the vapor concentration. We showed that the conformal modification of the scale surface by atomic layer deposition and by ethanol pretreatment can significantly alter the optical response and chemical selectivity, which points the way to the efficient production of sensor arrays based on the knowledge obtained through the investigation of modified butterfly wings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1446
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 7 2016


  • Atomic layer deposition
  • Biomaterial
  • Butterfly wing
  • Optical spectroscopy
  • Photonic crystal
  • Vapor sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Pretreated butterfly wings for tuning the selective vapor sensing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this