School of Physics, Exeter University, Exeter, UK.
Electromagnetic Materials Research
Photonics in Biology
The iridescence seen on the wings of certain species of butterflies and moths has been found to be entirely structural in origin. The structure is that of a series of thin-film multilayers. Several species of Morpho butterflies have been examined in detail. The surface of the iridescent colour producing scales consists of series of longitudinal ridges each of which contain a multilayer structure. Transmission electron micrograph images of cross-sections of the scales reveal that the multilayers form Christmas tree-like structures when viewed end-on. The deep blue iridescent colour of the Morpho wing is caused by selective interference within the scale multilayer structure. Strong non-specular reflection has been discovered that results both from the side-to-side tilting of the multilayer ridges and from diffraction association with the ridge periodicity.
Dr. Pete Vukusic leads the natural photonics research at Exeter and works closely with Prof. Roy Sambles FRS (Head of Thin Film Photonics).
Vukusic P., Hallam B and Noyes J., Brilliant whiteness in ultra-thin beetle scales, accepted for publication in Science, Jan 2007.
Jewell, S, Vukusic P., and Roberts N., Detailed analysis of the circularly polarised colour reflection from helicoidal structures in the beetle Plusiotis boucardi, submitted to Optics Express, November 2006.
Morehouse N., Vukusic P., and Rutowski R., Pterin pigment granules are responsible for both broadband light scattering and wavelength selective absorption in the wing scales of pierid butterflies. Accepted for publication in Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B., August 2006.
Hooper I. and Vukusic P., Detailed optical study of the transparent wing membranes of the dragonfly Aeshna cyanea, Optics Express, 14, 4891-4897, 2006.
Vukusic P., Structural Colour in Lepidoptera, Current Biology, 16, 621, 2006.
Vukusic P., Manipulating the flow of light with photonic crystals, Physics Today, 82-83, Oct. 2006.
Kemp. D., Vukusic P., and Rutowski R., Stress-mediated covariance between nano-structural architecture and ultraviolet butterfly coloration. Functional Ecology, 20, 282–289, 2005.
Vukusic P. and Hooper I. Directionally Controlled Fluorescence Emission in Butterflies, Science, 310. p1151, 2005.
Vukusic P., Structural Colour Effects in Lepidoptera, chapter in Structural Colours in Biological Systems., Kinoshita S. and Yoshioka S. eds., Osaka University Press, 95-112, 2006.
Vukusic P., Sambles J.R. and Lawrence C.R. Structurally assisted blackness in butterfly scales, Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B., 271, 237-239, 2004.
Mobus G., Vukusic P. and and Sambles J.R., Natural Grain Boundaries Over 3 Orders of Magnitude: Atomic vs. Bio-Photonic Crystals Examined by TEM, Microscopy and Microanalysis, 10: 4, 2004.
Vukusic P., Natural Photonics, Physics World, 35-39, Nov. 2004.
Vukusic P., Structural Colour, Ency. Nanosci and Nanotech. Marcel Dekker Publishing, 2004.
Vukusic P., Sambles J.R., and Wootton, R.J., Remarkable iridescence in the hind-wings of the damselfly Neurobasis chinensis (Linnaeus) (Zygoptera Calopterygidae), Proc. Roy Soc. Lon. B. 271, 595-601. 2004
Vukusic P., Natural Coatings in Optical Interference Coatings, 2003; Springer Series in Optical Sciences, Volume 8; (ISBN 3-540-00364-9).
Vukusic P., and Sambles J.R. Photonic structures in Biology, Nature 424, 852-855, 2003.
Lawrence C.R., Vukusic P., and Sambles J.R., Applied Optics, Grazing incidence iridescence from a butterfly wing, 41, 437-441, 2002.
Vukusic P., Sambles J.R., and Lawrence C.R., Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B., Limited-view iridescence in the butterfly Ancyluris meliboeus, 269, 7-14, 2002
Vukusic P., Sambles J.R., Lawrence C.R., and Wakely, G, Sculpted-multilayer optical effects in two species of Papilio butterfly, Applied Optics, 40, 1116-1125, 2001.
Vukusic P., Sambles J.R., Lawrence C.R., and Wootton, R.J, Structural Colour: Now you see it – Now you don’t, Nature, 410, 36, 2001.
Vukusic P., Sambles J.R., and Lawrence C.R., Structural Colour: Colour Mixing in the wing scales of a butterfly, Nature, 404, 457, 2000.
Vukusic P., Sambles J.R. and Ghiradella H., Optical classification of microstructure in butterfly wing scales, Photonics Science News, 6, 61-66, 2000.
Vukusic P., Sambles J.R., Lawrence C.R. and Wakely G., Sculpted-multilayer optical effects in two species of Papilio butterfly, Applied Optics, 40, 1117-1125, 2000.
Vukusic P., and Sambles J.R., Colour Effects in Bright Butterflies, J. Soc. Dyers Colourist, 9, 252-258, 2000.
Vukusic P., Sambles J.R., Lawrence C.R., and Wootton, R.J., Quantified interference and diffraction in single Morpho butterfly scales, Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B, 266, 1403-11. 1999.
Vukusic P., Bright Butterflies, Physics Review (Philip Allan Publishers), 8, 2-7, 1998.
Caruso F., Vukusic P., and Furlong D.N., Investigation of immuno-reactions in a flow-injection system using surface plasmon resonance, Colloid and Surfaces 103, 147-57,1995.
Jory M., Vukusic P., and Sambles J.R., Development of a Prototype Gas Sensor Using Surface Plasmon Resonance Sensors and Actuators B, 17, 203-207, 1994.
Vukusic P., and Sambles J.R., Surface Plasmon Resonance Characterisation of Spin Deposited Films, J. Mat. Chem., 2 (10), p1105, 1992.
Vukusic P., Bradberry G., and Sambles J.R., Long Range Bonding of Alcohols on Gold, Surf. Sci. Lett., 277, L34, 1992.
Bradberry G., and Vukusic P., Bonding of Alkanes to Flat Surfaces, J. Chem. Phys., 98(1), 653-57, 1992.
Vukusic P., and Sambles J.R., Cobalt Phthalocyanine as a Means for Sensing Nitrogen Dioxide. Thin Solid Films, 221, p311, 1991.
Vukusic P., Using Gratings as Gas Sensors, Sensors V, Conference Proceedings, Edinburgh 1991.
Vukusic P., and Sambles J.R., Surface Plasmon Resonance on Gratings as a Means for Gas Detection. Sensors and Actuators B, 8, p155, 1990.