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Polarizing properties and structural characteristics of the cuticle of the scarab Beetle Chrysina gloriosa
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Applied Optics . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. (Applied Optics)
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Applied Optics . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9229-2028
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Applied Optics . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2749-8008
2014 (English)In: Thin Solid Films, ISSN 0040-6090, E-ISSN 1879-2731, Vol. 571, no 3, 410-415 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The scarab beetle Chrysina gloriosa is green with gold-colored stripes along its elytras. The properties of light reflected on these areas are investigated using Mueller-matrix spectroscopic ellipsometry. Both areas reflect light with high degree of left-handed polarization but this effect occurs for specular reflection for the gold-colored areas and for off-specular angles for the green areas. The colors and polarization phenomena originate from reflection of light in the cuticle and a structural analysis is presented to facilitate understanding of the different behaviors of these two areas. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of the cross section of beetle cuticles show a multilayered structure. On the gold-colored areas the layers are parallel to the surface whereas on the green-colored areas they form cusp-like structures. Optical microscopy images show a rather flat surface in the gold-colored areas compared to the green-colored areas which display a net of polygonal cells with star-shaped cavities in the center. Each of the polygons corresponds to one of the cusps observed in the SEM images. Atomic force microscopy images of the star-shaped cavities are also provided. The roughness of the surface and the cusp-like structure of the green-colored areas are considered to cause scattering on this area.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 571, no 3, 410-415 p.
Keyword [en]
Scarab beetle; Near-circular polarization; Mueller-matrix spectroscopic ellipsometry
National Category
Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112885DOI: 10.1016/j.tsf.2013.11.149ISI: 000346055200013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-112885DiVA: diva2:773373
Conference
ICSE-VI International Conference on Spectroscopic Ellipsometry May 2013
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilKnut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
Available from: 2014-12-18 Created: 2014-12-18 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Optical and Structural Characterization of Natural Nanostructures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Optical and Structural Characterization of Natural Nanostructures
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The spectacular biodiversity of our planet is the result of millions of years of evolution. Over this time animals and plants have evolved and adapted to different environments, developing specific behavioral and physical adaptations to increase their chances of survival. During the last centuries human's curiosity has pushed us to study and understand the phenomena and mechanisms of the nature that surrounds us. This understanding has even led to the fields of biomimetics where we seek solutions to human challenges by emulating nature.

Scarab beetles (from the insect family Scarabaeidae) have fascinated humans for centuries due to the brilliant metallic shine of their chitin-rich exoskeletons and more recently for their ability to polarize reflected light. This doctoral thesis focuses on the optical characterization of the polarized reflected light from beetles in the Chrysina genus, although beetles from other genera also have been investigated. All the Chrysina beetles studied here share one characteristic, they all reflect left-handed near-circular polarized light. In some cases we also detect right-handed polarized light.

We have observed two different main behaviors among the studied Chrysina beetles. Those which are green-colored scatter the reflected polarized light, whereas those with metallic appearance are broadband specular reflectors. We present a detailed analysis of the optical properties with Mueller-matrix spectroscopic ellipsometry combined with optical- and electron-microscopy studies of the exoskeletons. This allow us to create a model that reproduces the optical properties of these structures. The model consists of a chiral (helicoidal) multilayer structure with a gradual change of the pitch and a constant rotation of the optic axis of the layers.

Beetles are not alone to have polarizing structures in nature and it is known that many birds and insects have the ability to detect linearly polarized light. This raises the question of whether the polarization properties of the beetles are the direct or indirect results of evolution or just pure coincidence. In order to get a better understanding of the possible reasons of this particular ability, we present a simulation study of different possible scenarios in nature where incoming light could be polarized or unpolarized, and where we consider detectors (eyes) sensitive to different states of polarized light. If the beetles are able to use this characteristic for camouflage, to confuse predators or for intraspecific communication is,

however, still unknown and requires further investigation.

My research results provide deeper understanding of the properties of light reflected on the beetle's exoskeleton and the nanostructures responsible for the polarization of the reflected light. The developed model could be used as bioinspiration for the fabrication of novel nano-optical devices. My results can also complement biological behavioral experiments aiming to understand the purposes of this specific optical characteristics in nature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. 53 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1795
National Category
Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics Condensed Matter Physics Biophysics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-132613 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-132613 (DOI)9789176856703 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-12-08, Planck, Fysikhuset, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

The ISBN 978-91-978-91-7685-670-3 in the printed version of the thesis is incorrect. Correct ISBN is 978-91-7685-670-3. The ISBN is corrected in the electronic version.

Available from: 2016-11-16 Created: 2016-11-16 Last updated: 2016-11-16Bibliographically approved

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Fernandez Del Rio, LíaArwin, HansJärrendahl, Kenneth

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