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From butterflies' wings to bank notes -- how nature's colors could cut bank fraud
Date:5/30/2010

"These artificial structures could be used to encrypt information in optical signatures on banknotes or other valuable items to protect them against forgery. We still need to refine our system but in future we could see structures based on butterflies wings shining from a 10 note or even our passports," he says.

Intriguingly, the butterfly may also be using its colours to encrypt itself appearing one colour to potential mates but another colour to predators.

Kolle explains: "The shiny green patches on this tropical butterfly's wing scales are a stunning example of nature's ingenuity in optical design. Seen with the right optical equipment these patches appear bright blue, but with the naked eye they appear green.

"This could explain why the butterfly has evolved this way of producing colour. If its eyes see fellow butterflies as bright blue, while predators only see green patches in a green tropical environment, then it can hide from predators at the same time as remaining visible to members of its own species."

The results are published today in Nature Nanotechnology.


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Contact: Becky Allen
becky.allen@admin.cam.ac.uk
44-750-088-3644
University of Cambridge
Source:Eurekalert  

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