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Journal of Nanophotonics • Open Access

Optical manipulation of nanoparticles: a review

Paper Abstract

Optical trapping is an established field for movement of micron-size objects and cells. However, trapping of metal nanoparticles, nanowires, nanorods and molecules has received little attention. Nanoparticles are more challenging to optically trap and they offer ample new phenomena to explore, for example the plasmon resonance. Resonance and size effects have an impact upon trapping forces that causes nanoparticle trapping to differ from micromanipulation of larger micron-sized objects. There are numerous theoretical approaches to calculate optical forces exerted on trapped nanoparticles. Their combination and comparison gives the reader deeper understanding of the physical processes in an optical trap. A close look into the key experiments to date demonstrates the feasibility of trapping and provides a grasp of the enormous possibilities that remain to be explored. When constructing a single-beam optical trap, particular emphasis has to be placed on the choice of imaging for the trapping and confinement of nanoparticles.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 2008
PDF: 32 pages
J. Nanophoton. 2(1) 021875 doi: 10.1117/1.2992045
Published in: Journal of Nanophotonics Volume 2, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Maria Dienerowitz, Univ. of St. Andrews (United Kingdom)
Michael Mazilu, Univ. of St. Andrews (United Kingdom)
Kishan Dholakia, Univ. of St. Andrews (United Kingdom)

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