1 Tahrcountry Musings: Never ending marvels of nature

Friday, November 18, 2005

Never ending marvels of nature

An improved LED developed by scientists recently has striking similarities to what the nature has been using for 30 million years. African swallowtail butterflies have been attracting their mates with glowing splashes of colour on their wings with a technique quite analogous to the latest research breakthrough. The new breed of LEDs uses specialised mirrors and tiny structures called photonic crystals to generate more efficient light from the semiconductor materials. The butterfly has natural versions of these specialised mirrors and photonic crystals, which deliver glowing splashes that attract the mates. Pete Vukusic and Ian Hooper, physicists at the University of Exeter in the U.K report the findings in the latest issue of the journal Science.

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