Zoom into the natural nanostructures that manipulate light on a Blue Morpho Butterfly! Starting with a normal digital camera, we zoom into the wing of the Blue Morpho using more powerful microscopes. We see the wing underneath an optical microscope, and finally, a scanning electron microscope. You'll see the 200 nanometer structures that produce the beautiful blue iridescent color of the Blue Morpho.
In this activity, museum visitors will be exposed to the term ‘Photonic Crystals’. They will see and explore some of the well-known photonic crystals in nature and will also be able observe one method that scientists use in trying to replicate this process.
This poster aligns zooms into three familiar objects - a human heart, a butterfly's wing, and a laptop computer. Using the conventions of visual perspective the image travels in one continuous “landscape” from the human scale at the top to the atomic scale in the foreground. As the scale gets smaller and smaller, these disparate objects resolve to individual atoms, highlighting the concept that everything is made of atoms.
Online Brown-Bag: The Science Behind NanoDays 2013 Activities - Part Two: Laddering Activities Around Polymers and Light at the Nanoscale (Recorded)
This is a recording of a NISE Network online brown-bag conversation held in 2013. This brown-bag conversation focused on the science behind NISE activities related to polymers or light at the nanoscale. The following activities were discussed:
• Exploring Fabrication - Gummy Capsules • Exploring Materials - Hydrogel • Exploring Structures - Butterfly • Exploring Materials - Thin Films • Exploring Properties - Invisibility
Presented by: Rashmi Nanjundaswamy and Lizzie Hager-Barnard, Lawrence Hall of Science, Univeristy of California, Berkely
The colors of the Blue Morpho's wing are generated by nanometer-sized structures on the wing's scales. In this image, light reflected from the scales creates the Morpho's characteristic iridescent blue color.
The colors of the Blue Morpho's wing are generated by nanometer-sized structures on the wing's scales. In this image, only the light passing through the wing is seen, revealing the wing's pigment-produced brown hue.
This scanning electron microscope image shows ridges on a Blue Morpho Butterfly wing scale. These ridges contain nanoscale structures that reflect light to create the Morpho's iridescent colors.
The overlapping scales on the wing of the Blue Morpho Butterfly contain nanoscale structures that reflect light to create iridescent colors. This scanning electron microscope image shows Morpho wing scales from above.
The iridescent colors of the Blue Morpho Butterfly's wings are produced by nanostructures that reflect different wavelengths of light.
The Blue Morpho is common in Central and South America and known for its bright blue wings. However, these iridescent colors are created not by pigments in the wing tissues but instead by the way light interacts with nanometer-sized structures on the Morpho's wing scales. This effect is being studied as a model in the development of new fabrics, dye-free paints, and anti-counterfeit technologies for currency.
The tree-like structures in this scanning electron microscope image of a cross section of a butterfly wing are on the undersides of the Morpho's wing scale ridges. These microribs reflect light to create iridescent colors.