3M's Iridescent Dichroic Film
The blue morpho butterfly’s wings are covered with layers of microscopic scales set at slightly different angles, so that when light hits the insect, its wings appear to change color along a spectrum. This physiological feat inspired a breakthrough for 3M scientists developing a substitute for dichroic glass, which is coated with metallic oxides that give it an iridescent finish. The result, 3M’s Dichroic Film, offers the lustrous look of an insect wing with an easy-to-apply coating that, at $9 per square foot, costs 90 percent less than the real glass version.
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