Substance specific chemical sensing with pristine and modified photonic nanoarchitectures occurring in blue butterfly wing scales

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Butterfly wing scales containing photonic nanoarchitectures act as chemically selective sensors due to their color change when mixing vapors in the atmosphere. Based on butterfly vision, we built a model for efficient characterization of the spectral changes in different atmospheres. The spectral shift is vapor specific and proportional with the vapor concentration. Results were compared to standard principal component analysis. The modification of the chemical properties of the scale surface by the deposition of 5 nm of Al2O3significantly alters the character of the optical response. This is proof of the possibility to purposefully tune the selectivity of such sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22649-22660
Number of pages12
JournalOptics Express
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Sep 22 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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