NP2022-030 Butterfly wings

Butterfly wings

Viola Kaser, Ille C. Gebeshuber

Institute of Applied Physics, Vienna University of Technology, Wiedner Hauptstrasse 8-10/134, 1040 Wien, Austria

Butterfly wings are not just lifeless tissue, they contain living cells as well. As the wings are very thin and therefore prone to overheating, living Nature came up with a protection mechanism for those living cells. Some butterfly wing scales in a number of butterfly species developed the ability to work like passive radiative coolers. They selectively emit radiation in the atmospheric transparency window, thereby cooling those wing parts under ambient temperature.
This poster shows the first step in the investigation of various exotic and domestic butterfly species and their potential radiative cooling properties by investigating them with a thermographic camera. The next steps comprise studies of the butterfly wing scales with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and attempts to mimic their structure on technologically relevant materials. There is an obvious need for passive cooling devices, which can be used for example in cooling of buildings and therefore saving of energy expenses.



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