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The adult Papilio demoleus Linnaeus comes in different sizes (80-100 mm) and colours. On the basis of structural colour observation, an experimental and theoretical study on the different colours on Papilio demoleus Linnaeus wings was conducted. The wing scales were investigated from a photonic crystal perspective using scanning electron and optical microscopies and reflectance measurements. In the SEM measurements, the parts studied show nanostructured ridges separated by crossribs (grooves). The scales show several tilted cuticle layers lapped on the ridges, which constitute a grating. The widths of the ridges and crossribs (grooves) in the grating are different. Arrangements and shapes of scales are clearly seen under the optical microscopy. It was deduced that the yellow colour with the highest reflectance of 485 nm and 580 nm could be due to multiple interferences from a highly tilted cuticle arrangement. The layer arrangement in the brown and ash scales is not enough to reflect observable interference light. The study shows an application in fine light elements in the photo-electro devices.
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