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All optical dynamic nanomanipulation with active colloidal tweezers

TitleAll optical dynamic nanomanipulation with active colloidal tweezers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGhosh, S, Ghosh, A
JournalNature communications

Manipulation of colloidal objects with light is important in diverse fields. While performance of traditional optical tweezers is restricted by the diffraction-limit, recent approaches based on plasmonic tweezers allow higher trapping efficiency at lower optical powers but suffer from the disadvantage that plasmonic nanostructures are fixed in space, which limits the speed and versatility of the trapping process. As we show here, plasmonic nanodisks fabricated over dielectric microrods provide a promising approach toward optical nanomanipulation: these hybrid structures can be maneuvered by conventional optical tweezers and simultaneously generate strongly confined optical near-fields in their vicinity, functioning as near-field traps themselves for colloids as small as 40 nm. The colloidal tweezers can be used to transport nanoscale cargo even in ionic solutions at optical intensities lower than the damage threshold of living micro-organisms, and in addition, allow parallel and independently controlled manipulation of different types of colloids, including fluorescent nanodiamonds and magnetic nanoparticles.