Structure-color-species correlation in photonic nanoarchitectures occurring in blue lycaenid butterfly scales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The blue colored males of nine Polyommatine butterfly species were investigated under the aspect of color-structure-species correlation. A large number of individuals from museum collections (in total more than 100) were used to obtain average reflectance spectra to reduce the effect of individual variations as much as possible. Structural characteristics were investigated by scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The relevant structural data were extracted using the Biophot Analyzer software. It was found that the position of the main reflectance peak is decided primarily by the nearest neighbor distance of holes in the perforated layers constituting the pepper-pot type structure. However, very different value of the 2D filling factor may have a large enough effect on the spectral position and the width and asymmetry of the peak to overrule the classification on taking into account only the nearest neighbor distance. The comparison of the structural and spectral data may indicate that the species Polyommatus amandus may constitute an evolutionary link between different groups of species. The examined pepper-pot type nanoarchitectures show that with the alteration of the structural parameters (first neighbor distance, 2D filling factor) the tuning of the reflectance of such nanoarchitectures may be achieved. These type of nanoarchitectures may be attractive for practical applications as their large scale manufacturing may require less strict conditions as compared with fully regular nanoarchitectures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8822-8828
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2012


  • Butterfly wing scale
  • Nanoarchitecture
  • Photonic crystal
  • Structural color

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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