WIT Press


Photonic architectures in beetles: Twists and iridescence



Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/DNE-V9-N4-266-275

Volume

Volume 9 (2014), Issue 4

Pages

9

Page Range

266 - 275

Author(s)

L.T. MCDONALD, T.A. STARKEY & P. VUKUSIC

Abstract

The order Coleoptera is, by any standard, a prodigious showcase for the extraordinary creativity and flexibility of the evolutionary process. Concurrent with a desire to overcome the present limitations of optical coating technol- ogies, a number of novel and elegant reflectance mechanisms have been discovered in the realms of biological systems including 3D photonic crystals and quasi-ordered coherent scattering arrays. Beetles, in particular, pos- sess many desirable and, crucially, tunable properties from a biomimetic perspective. Here, we provide a detailed discussion of two coleopteran structures, namely 1D multilayers and helically arranged ‘Bouligand’ structures, and consider their putative entomological functions and potential applications in bioinspired technologies.

Keywords

Beetles, biomimetics, broadband, circular polarisation, iridescence, multilayer, optical activity, structural colour.