Japanese scientists from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology said that a butterfly’s wing served as their inspiration for inventing a new nanobiocomposte material that may eventually be used to create wearable electronic devices. The researchers say the material can also be used to make highly sensitive light sensors and sustainable batteries.
Eijiro Miyako, one of the members of the team that conducted the study, said that the Morpho butterfly wings have the capability of reproducing artificially because of their natural properties. They are feather light thin, pliable, can absorb solar energy, shed water quickly and self-cleaning, making it the ideal kind of material for electronic devices that can be worn or maybe even installed in the human body. The researchers worked with tiny cylinders of carbon dubbed carbon nanotubes (CNTs) because it had unique electrical, mechanical, thermal and optical properties. They then put together the butterfly wings and the CNTs to create the new “nanobiocomposite” material.
Growing a honeycomb network of the CNTs on the Morpho butterfly wings, they found the resulting material to heat up faster when activated by a laser and also showed high electrical conductivity. It also could copy DNA on its surface and at the same time does not absorb it. The results of their experiment were published in the American Chemical Society Nano journal, a peer-reviewed site. “Our present study highlights the important progress that has been made toward the development of smart nanobiomaterials for various applications such as digital diagnosis, soft wearable electronic devices, photosensors, and photovoltaic cells,” they shared with their fellow scientists.
[ via UPI ]