Structure, Function, and Self-Assembly of Single Network Gyroid (I4132) Photonic Crystals in Butterfly Wing Scales
biological meta-materials, organismal color, biomimetics, biological cubic mesophases
Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) was used to identify the 3D photonic nanostructures (made of chitin and air) of five butterfly species from two families (Papilionidae, Lycaenidae) as single network gyroid (<math>I4_132</math>) photonic crystals. Photonic band-gap modeling was also performed. Butterflies first develop thermodynamically favored double gyroid precursors and transform these into a single gyroid network which is optically more efficient.