Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

How butterflies’ wings could cut bank fraud

University of Cambridge scientists, Mathias Kolle, working with Professor Ullrich Steiner and Professor Jeremy Baumberg, have discovered a way of mimicking the stunningly bright and picturesque colors found on the wings of some tropical butterflies. Their findings about the complex, microscopic structures discovered could have important applications in the security printing industry, helping to make bank notes and credit cards harder to forge.

Inspired by the natural structures of the Indonesian Peacock or the Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio blumei) and using a combination of nanofabrication techniques- including self-assembly and atomic layer deposition – the aforementioned researchers made structurally identical copies of the butterfly scales, and these copies produced the same vivid colors as the butterflies’ wings.

Results were published in Nature Nanotechnology and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Cambridge Newton Trust funded the research. You can read the full article here.


June 2, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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