RSC Advances, 2013, vol 3, 9, pp. 3109-3117
3D titania photonic crystals are replicated from single gyroid structures found in the butterfly Callophrys rubi. Photonic crystals were characterised using SEM imaging, X-ray and Raman scattering and reflection spectroscopy. The overall symmetry and topology of the original single gyroid structures is replicated with high fidelity. Titania replicas display photonic responses that are thermal history dependent. Replicas treated at 700 °C, show up to 96% reflectivity at ∼505 nm, while at lower and higher treatment temperatures the photonic response was not as pronounced. Simulated band structures fitted to the observed spectral reflectivity data constrain the solid volume fractions and dielectric constants of the replicas. The titania photonic crystals were also found to be optically active, with both left- and right-handed single gyroids contributing to the chiral response. The 3D titania photonic crystals replicated here have nearly complete overlapping of partial band gaps, strongly suggesting that materials with full photonic band gaps are experimentally within reach using the general replication approach reported here.