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Modelling the properties of structurally coloured butterfly wings

Weatherly, Loughlan (2019) Modelling the properties of structurally coloured butterfly wings. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Structural colouration is a method of producing colour found in nature that is separate from methods such as pigmentation. Structural colouration is achieved in the buttery species Thecla Opisena through a photonic nano-structure known as the single gyroid which appears in faceted crystallites informally known as 'blobs'. This structure can be approximated by the gyroid minimal surface using a method known as nodal surface approximation. With this tool at our disposal we can analyse the physical and photonic properties of the single gyroid. The software Lumerical has a finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) package that models the photonic behaviour of nano-structures. Utilizing this software we have observed the effect of crystallite size, shape and material on the reflectance produced by T. opisena. Based on these observations, we conclude that it should be possible to infer some nano-structure features from the reflectance spectrum, for the gyroid crystallite discussed here and potentially for other structural geometries.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Information Technology, Mathematics and Statistics
Supervisor(s): Schröder-Turk, Gerd
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