Stereocomplex poly (methyl methacrylate) fibers and self-reinforced composites and structural color of butterflies and beetles - characterization, replication and mimicry
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Stereocomplex poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) fibers for the purpose of reinforcing PMMA materials were developed. These kinds of composites are known as "self-reinforced" composites. We were successful in producing stereocomplex PMMA fibers with three different methods - wet spinning, gel spinning and electrospinning. Gel spinning and electrospinning produced the most crystalline fibers. Steroecomplex PMMA fibers were further shown to be resistant to high temperature and also to hot monomer solvent during bulk polymerization. We further describe our efforts in characterization, replication and mimicry of structural color features of butterflies and beetles. We have developed a simple method of characterizing the bidirectional reflectance distribution function of microscopic objects such as butterfly wing scales. We used this method to characterize nanometer sized structural color features resulting from the replication of butterfly Morpho rhetenor, mimickry of butterfly Papilio palinurus and also the native structural color features of iridescent beetle Chrysina gloriosa, which were shown to be cholesteric focal conic defects lined on the surface.