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Micron. 2002;33(5):483-7.

Electron tomography and computer visualisation of a three-dimensional 'photonic' crystal in a butterfly wing-scale.

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School of Physics, University of Sydney, 2006, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


A combination of transmission electron tomography and computer modelling has been used to determine the three-dimensional structure of the photonic crystals found in the wing-scales of the Kaiser-I-Hind butterfly (Teinopalpus imperialis). These scales presented challenges for electron microscopy because the periodicity of the structure was comparable to the thickness of a section and because of the complex connectivity of the object. The structure obtained has been confirmed by taking slices of the three-dimensional computer model constructed from the tomography and comparing these with transmission electron microscope (TEM) images of microtomed sections of the actual scale. The crystal was found to have chiral tetrahedral repeating units packed in a triclinic lattice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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