New technology inspired from butterfly wings could pave the way for brighter displays

Butterfly Wings Could Pave The Way For Brighter Displays-2

Bio-inspired electronics are no longer a thing of the future, with scientists increasingly looking for ways to replicate complex natural processes in the realm of nanotechnology, robotics and other related fields. In the past, for instance, researchers developed high-definition LCD displays by studying the color-changing abilities of squids and octopuses. Previously, a team from Stanford University designed stretchable, color-changing e-skin, inspired by chameleons.

As part of a recent project, scientists at Australia-based Swinburne University of Technology have once again turned to nature, more specifically to the wings of a butterfly. Inspired by nature, the team has successfully developed highly-specialized nanostructures that could usher in a new generation of brighter displays. The butterfly in question is the colorful Green Hairstreak.

Butterfly Wings Could Pave The Way For Brighter Displays-1

The butterfly wings, according to the researchers, possess curved surfaces and interlacing patterns that are called gyroid structures. These structures, as the team points out, feature photonic band gaps. They are basically gaps in which photons of specific wavelengths are reflected, thus causing the color of the surface to appear different than its actual pigmentation. What is more, these band gaps might even turn the gyroid structures photonic crystals.

For the current research, the scientists recreated these gyroid structures with the help of an advanced optical two-beam lithography system. The resultant structures were found to possess higher mechanical strength than the original versions. The artificially-produced gyroid structures not only mimicked those of the butterfly wings, but also boasted better controllability, size and uniformity. Speaking about the research, recently published in the Science Advances journal, Zongsong Gan, the paper’s chief author, said:

These new gyroid structures could help make more compact light based electronics because, thanks to their smaller size, larger numbers of devices can be integrated onto a single chip. However, for three-dimensional devices, smaller and more compact also means there is a higher risk of structure collapse because of weaker mechanical strength. Our fabrication technique allows us to make stronger architectures to overcome this problem.

Via: IEEE Spectrum

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