4 April 2012 High-throughput reproduction of the Morpho butterfly's specific high contrast blue
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Some species of the blue Morpho butterfly have a mysterious physical feature of strucural color, because it has both high reflectivity (>60%) and a single color in too wide angular range (> ± 40° from the normal), which are contradicting with each other in consideration of the interference phenomena. We have recently proven the principle of the mystery by extracting the physical essence, and emulating the nano-structures using nano-fabrication techniques. The essence was special combination of regular and irregular structures at nanometer scale. Such artificial structural color was found to concern wide applications, because the Morpho-color can produce a single color without pigment in wide angular range with high reflectivity. Also it makes colors impossible by pigment, and is resistant to fading due to chemical change over longtime. However, we must overcome several "death valleys" for wide industrial applications. One of the most serious problems was extremely low throughput in the fabrication process of nano-patterning by the conventional lithography. This difficulty was solved by use of the nano-imprinting technique. However, from the practical viewpoint, the enlargement of the mold area for nano-imprinting process was essential. This problem was found to be solved using the laser fabrication and electroforming processes. Nevertheless, to reproduce the clear blue contrast of the Morpho-color, a blackening treatment at the film interface was found to be necessary. The blackening processes and conditions by use of absorbing layers were then estimated and successfully applied to reproduce the clear contrast of the Morpho-blue, which has been confirmed by the optical measurement of the reflectivity.
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Akira Saito, Akira Saito, Junichi Murase, Junichi Murase, Masaru Yonezawa, Masaru Yonezawa, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Takuto Shibuya, Takuto Shibuya, Mitsuo Sasaki, Mitsuo Sasaki, Takafumi Ninomiya, Takafumi Ninomiya, Shunji Noguchi, Shunji Noguchi, Megumi Akai-kasaya, Megumi Akai-kasaya, Yuji Kuwahara, Yuji Kuwahara, } "High-throughput reproduction of the Morpho butterfly's specific high contrast blue", Proc. SPIE 8339, Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2012, 83390C (4 April 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.915255; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.915255

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