Mapping the local dielectric constant of a bio‑nanostructured system

Submitting author affiliation:
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Beilstein Arch. 2020, 2020117.

Published 09 Oct 2020

cc-by Logo



The aim of this work is to determine the dielectric constant value of a bio-nanostructured system via Electrostatic Force Microscopy (EFM) and to show how this method is useful to study natural photonic crystals. We mapped the dielectric constant of the cross-section of the posterior wing of the damselfly Chalcopteryx rutilans with nanometric resolution and obtained not only structural information on its constitutive nanolayers but also on the absolute values of the dielectric constant variation in a nanometric scale. By relating the measured profile of the static dielectric constant to the profile of the refractive index in the visible range, combined with optical reflectance measurements and simulation, we were able to describe the origin of the strongly iridescent wing colors of this Amazonian rainforest damselfly. The method we demonstrate here should be useful for the study of other nanostructured biological systems.

Keywords: dielectric constant; electrostatic force microscopy (EFM); natural photonic crystals; relative permittivity; structural colors  

How to Cite

When a peer-reviewed version of this preprint is available, this information will be updated in the information box above. If no peer-reviewed version is available, please cite this preprint using the following information:

Valeriano, W. W.; Andrade, R. R.; Vasco, J. P.; Malachias, A.; Neves, B. R. A.; Guimarães, P. S. S.; Rodrigues, W. N. Beilstein Arch. 2020, 2020117. doi:10.3762/bxiv.2020.117.v1

Download Citation

Citation data can be downloaded as file using the "Download" button or used for copy/paste from the text window below.
Citation data in RIS format can be imported by all major citation management software, including EndNote, ProCite, RefWorks, and Zotero.