Reflections on iridescent neck and breast feathers of the peacock, Pavo cristatus

Pascal Freyer, Bodo D. Wilts, Doekele G. Stavenga

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

15 Citaten (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)

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The blue neck and breast feathers of the peacock are structurally coloured due to an intricate photonic crystal structure in the barbules consisting of a two-dimensionally ordered rectangular lattice of melanosomes (melanin rodlets) and air channels embedded in a keratin matrix. We here investigate the feather coloration by performing microspectrophotometry, imaging scatterometry and angle-dependent reflectance measurements. Using previously determined wavelength-dependent refractive indices of melanin and keratin, we interpret the spectral and spatial reflection characteristics by comparing the measured spectra to calculated spectra by effective-medium multilayer and full three-dimensional finite-difference time-domain modelling. Both modelling methods yield similar reflectance spectra indicating that simple multilayer modelling is adequate for a direct understanding of the brilliant coloration of peacock feathers.

Originele taal-2English
Artikelnummer20180043
Aantal pagina's9
TijdschriftInterface Focus
Volume9
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
DOI's
StatusPublished - 6-feb.-2019

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