Butterfly Wings and the Creation of Nanobiocomposite Material

Butterfly Wings and the Creation of Nanobiocomposite Material

Scientists have successfully created a nanobiocomposite material leveraged from the incredible natural properties of the wings of the Morpho butterfly. This discovery brings great hope for electronic devices that can be worn, as well as light sensors with high sensitivity and sustainable batteries.

The wings of Morpho butterflies have natural properties that cannot be reproduced artificially with current technology. As well as being thin, flexible and lightweight, the wings of these butterflies quickly shed water, absorb solar energy and can self-clean.

Scientist Eijiro Miyako and his team worked with very small cylinders of carbon termed ‘carbon nanotubes’ (CNTs) and developed a fascination with their unique properties on electrical, mechanical, thermal and optical levels.

Miyako and his team endeavoured to combine the wings and nanotubes so that a new hybrid material would be produced.

The team reported growing a honeycomb network made up of carbon nanotubes on the wings of Morpho butterflies and the creation of a composite material able to be activated when a laser is used.

The scientists found that the heat of the resulting materials increased more rapidly than the original components in isolation. The resulting materials had high levels of electrical conductivity and the capacity for DNA to be copied onto its surface without it being absorbed.

Source:  http://phys.org/news/2013-08-butterfly-wings-carbon-nanotubes-nanobiocomposite.html