(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists have long known that butterfly wings produce their iridescent colors by bouncing light around and between tiny ridges in structures made of chitin. More recently they’ve discovered that the chitin material in their wings also expands when struck by infrared radiation which causes a change in its refraction index, converting it to visible light. Now, by adding a layer of carbon nanotubes to the wing material, the researchers have found they are able to increase the amount of heat absorbed. This discovery, the team writes in their paper published in Nature Photonics, could lead to new kinds of thermal imaging systems.
- Scientists shed light on glowing materialsMon, 20 Aug 2012, 13:09:38 EDT
- An eye gene colors butterfly wings redThu, 21 Jul 2011, 17:04:51 EDT
- Penn researchers find new way to mimic the color and texture of butterfly wings Mon, 15 Oct 2012, 17:34:39 EDT
- From butterflies' wings to bank notes -- how nature's colors could cut bank fraudSun, 30 May 2010, 13:35:28 EDT
- Research reveals how butterflies copy their neighbors to fool birdsSun, 14 Aug 2011, 15:33:30 EDT