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J Morphol. 2007 Sep;268(9):826-9.

Unexpected variability of millennium green: structural color of Japanese jewel beetle resulted from thermosensitive porous organic multilayer.

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  • 1L'OrĂ©al Recherche, KSP R&D D-637, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 213-0012, Japan.


The Japanese jewel beetle (Chrysochroa fulgidissima) is one of the beautiful beetles showing metallic green color that is kept over a millennium. This is a typical structural color resulting from a multilayer, frequently seen in insects. It was found that the elytra unexpectedly change the color from original green to blue or red by heating at 200 degrees C or by immersing in bromoform for over 1 month. This variability implies that the multilayer consists of a thermosensitive porous material. The color change induced by heating was accompanied with elytron shrinkage; the sensitivity of the reflection peak was -0.6 nm/ degrees C in 30-65 degrees C. The porous structure was determined by positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy; the averaged pore radius was around 0.25-0.30 nm, which is close to the size of the bromoform molecule. These features prove the thermosensitivity and porous structure of the multilayer although in unusual environments.

(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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