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
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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
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