Optical

Blue Morpho Butterfly Wing Ridges

Blue Morpho Butterfly Wing Ridges
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 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.

Minimum credit: 

Shinya Yoshioka, Osaka University

Size: 

Each ridge is about 800 nm wide.

Pixels: Width: 

1392

Pixels: Height: 

1028

Permissions:

This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

Return to gallery

Blue Morpho Butterfly Wing Scales

Blue Morpho Butterfly Wing Scales
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 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.

Minimum credit: 

Shinya Yoshioka, Osaka University

Size: 

Each scale is about 70x200 µm.

Pixels: Width: 

1078

Pixels: Height: 

811

Permissions:

This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

Return to gallery

Photonic Crystal

Photonic Crystal
This is a scanning electron microscope image of a photonic crystal. The periodic arrangement of the holes in the material controls the movement of light within the crystal. A photonic crystal's highly ordered and repetitive structure affects the way light moves through it. Similar periodic arrangements are found in nature—for example, in precious opals and in the wings of the Blue Morpho butterfly—and scientists are studying these natural periodic structures to learn more about their properties and potential applications. These crystals have potential uses in computer engineering, lenses and optics, and variable-color paints and inks.

Minimum credit: 

Andrei Faraon, Stanford University

Size: 

Each hole is about 200 nm in diameter.

Pixels: Width: 

645

Pixels: Height: 

516

Permissions:

This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

Return to gallery

Glass Nanowire

Glass Nanowire
In this optical microscope image, light can be seen passing though a silica nanowire on a silica aerogel surface. New technologies have made it possible to draw glass in long, ultra-smooth wires with uniform diameters in the nanometer range. Because of their extraordinary uniformity, these nanowires have unique properties important in optics and photonics, both of which require precise control of light.

Minimum credit: 

Eric Mazur, Harvard University

This is a NISE Network product: 

no

Size: 

This nanowire is 530 nm long and the radius of the bent wire is 8 µm.

Pixels: Width: 

1000

Pixels: Height: 

752

Permissions:

This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

Return to gallery

Glass Nanowire

Glass Nanowire
This is a scanning electron microscope image of a silica nanowire on a silica aerogel surface. New technologies have made it possible to draw glass in long, ultra-smooth wires with uniform diameters in the nanometer range. Because of their extraordinary uniformity, these nanowires have unique properties important in optics and photonics, both of which require precise control of light.

Minimum credit: 

Eric Mazur, Harvard University

Size: 

The nanowire is 530 nm long and the radius of the bent wire is 8 µm.

Pixels: Width: 

1000

Pixels: Height: 

752

Permissions:

This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

Return to gallery

Blue Morpho Butterfly Wing Microribs

Blue Morpho Butterfly Wing Microribs
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. 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.

Minimum credit: 

Shinya Yoshioka, Osaka University

Size: 

The microribs on the wing scale ridges are each about 400 nm long.

Pixels: Width: 

750

Pixels: Height: 

465

Permissions:

This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

Return to gallery

Liquid Crystal

Liquid Crystal
This is an optical microscope image of a liquid crystal (Cromlyn in water). The colors are created by molecular variations or changes in the crystal's thickness. Liquid crystals have properties of both liquids and solids: Although they can flow like a fluid, their molecules are highly ordered, like those found in solid crystals. The ubiquitous liquid crystal displays (LCDs) found in everything from watches to cell phones are made possible by devices that rapidly alter the structure of these substances—and therefore the way they interact with light.

Minimum credit: 

Gary Koenig, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This is a NISE Network product: 

no

Size: 

The sample is 350 µm wide.

Pixels: Width: 

1600

Pixels: Height: 

1200

Permissions:

This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

Return to gallery