Nanostructures in butterfly wings

A few weeks ago (before it started snowing!) I went on a walk in the garden across the street from the University of Wisconsin chemistry building and saw an abundance of beautiful butterflies. I noticed that the butterflies were iridescent in the sunlight as they fluttered from flower to flower. I wondered: does the iridescence …

Nano-textiles: The Fabric of the Future

When you think of futuristic clothing, you probably imagine lots of metallics, holographic accents, and textures. In fact, the sci-fi imagery that springs to mind is coming back into fashion, as evidenced by some recent runway trends (Figure 1). While we can’t say for certain what the fashion of the future will look like, many of …