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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 34, Iss. 27 — Sep. 20, 1995
  • pp: 6049–6057

Optical diffraction by the microstructure of the wing of a moth

D. J. Brink, J. E. Smit, M. E. Lee, and A. Möller  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 34, Issue 27, pp. 6049-6057 (1995)

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On the wing of the moth Trichoplusia orichalcea a prominent, apparently highly reflective, golden spot can be seen. Scales from this area of the wing exhibit a regular microstructure resembling a submicrometer herringbone pattern. We show that a diffraction process from this structure is responsible for the observed optical properties, such as directionality, brightness variations, polarization, and color.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: December 13, 1994
Revised Manuscript: March 20, 1995
Published: September 20, 1995

D. J. Brink, J. E. Smit, M. E. Lee, and A. Möller, "Optical diffraction by the microstructure of the wing of a moth," Appl. Opt. 34, 6049-6057 (1995)

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