Scientists have discovered a way of mimicking the stunningly bright and beautiful colors found on the wings of tropical butterflies.
The findings could have important applications in the security printing industry, helping to make bank notes and credit cards harder to forge, reports EurekAlert.org.
The striking iridescent colors displayed on beetles, butterflies and other insects have long fascinated both physicists and biologists, but mimicking nature’s most colorful, eye-catching surfaces has proved elusive.
This is partly because rather than relying on pigments, these colours are produced by light bouncing off microscopic structures on the insects’ wings.
As well as helping scientists gain a deeper understanding of the physics behind these butterflies’ colors, being able to mimic them has promising applications in security printing.
“These artificial structures could be used to encrypt information in optical signatures on banknotes or other valuable items to protect them against forgery. We still need to refine our system but in future we could see structures based on butterflies wings shining from a Â£10 note or even our passports,” he says.
Photo by mzacha.
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