February 9, 2011
Robert Frost said it best when he wrote, “butterflies are flowers that fly and all but sing”. Shimmery, iridescent, vibrant, stunning and delicate, these are just some of the words used to describe the colors of nature’s denizens of summer. Both chemistry and physics combine through pigmentation and nanostructures to produce the dazzling chromatic array that lies at the intersection of mystery and beauty. Research into the chemical and physical properties of butterfly wings may lead to new color methods with diverse application to paints, cosmetics, fabrics, and security printing.