The optical properties of colored wing scales of the <i>Chrysiridia croesus</i> moth were investigated experimentally and theoretically by reflection spectroscopy and ellipsometry. Transmission electron microscope micrographs show that the outer surfaces of these scales incorporate a fairly regular layered structure of alternating dense and less-dense material, which reflects light by the well-known thin-film interference process. A Monte Carlo–type simulation of the reflection process is discussed, which permits the determination of the complex index of refraction of the scale material.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
D. Johan Brink and Mike E. Lee, "Thin-film biological reflectors: optical characterization of the Chrysiridia croesus moth," Appl. Opt. 37, 4213-4217 (1998)