Co-researcher Kevin Le from ANU with a blue Morpho butterfly and a solar cell. Photo: Stuart Hay.

Co-researcher Kevin Le from ANU with a blue Morpho butterfly and a solar cell. Photo: Stuart Hay.

Butterfly wings inspire invention

Engineers have invented tiny structures inspired by butterfly wings that open the door to new solar cell technologies and other applications requiring precise manipulation of light.

Engineers have invented tiny structures inspired by butterfly wings that open the door to new solar cell technologies and other applications requiring precise manipulation of light.

The inspiration comes from the blue Morpho Didius butterfly, which has wings with tiny cone-shaped nanostructures that scatter light to create a striking blue iridescence, and could lead to other innovations such as stealth and architectural applications.