Morpho Butterfly-Inspired Nanostructures

Haider Butt*, Ali K. Yetisen, Denika Mistry, Safyan Akram Khan, Mohammed Umair Hassan, Seok Hyun Yun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
416 Downloads (Pure)


The wing scales of Morpho butterflies contain 3D nanostructures that produce blue iridescent colors. Incident light is diffracted from multilayered nanostructures to create interference effects and diffract narrow-band light. The intensity of the diffracted light remains high over a wide range of viewing angles. Structural coloration originating from the scales of Morpho wing nanostructures has been studied to analyze its optical properties and to produce scalable replicas. This review discusses computational and experimental methods to replicate these nanoarchitectures. Analytical and numerical methods utilized include multilayer models, the finite element method, and rigorous coupled-wave analysis, which enable the optimization of nanofabrication techniques involving biotemplating, chemical vapour deposition, electron beam lithography, and laser patterning to mimic the wing scale nanostructure. Dynamic tunability of the morphology, refractive index, and chemical composition of the Morpho wing scales allows the realization of a numerous applications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Optical Materials
Early online date11 Jan 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jan 2016


  • Morpho butterflies
  • Nanofabrication
  • Nanostructures
  • Photonics
  • Sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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