Thin-Films in Butterfly Wing Scales
Butterfly wings are made of millions of scales. In some species, the scales have multilayer thin-film structures which reflect sun light resulting in a bright iridescence. The optical phenomena involved include thin-film interference, diffraction, scattering, and non-planar specular reflection. In this project, we are studying the spectral reflectivity of butterfly wing scales using both experimental and numerical tools to understand the roles of the various optical phenomena in producing the structural colors in butterfly wings.
Contact: Peter Y. Wong