Optical forces and torques at the nanoscale: Fundamentas and bio-applications

DIPC Seminars

Prof. Daniel Jaque, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
Donostia International Physics Center
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Optical forces and torques at the nanoscale: Fundamentas and bio-applications There is not discussion at all about the relevant role that optical tweezers have played in the recent development of photonics. Optical trapping has allowed the achievement of old dreams such as the contactless manipulation of ADN molecules or the fabrication of frictionless micro actuators. The potential of optical tweezers has been further boosted by their recently demonstrated ability for remote, three dimensional and real time manipulation of sub 100 nm dielectric nanoparticles. This, in turns, has led to amazing achievements such as three dimensional thermal measurements in a cellular environment. What is surprising is that all these exciting results have been achieved without a complete understanding on the physical origin of the optical forces and torques appearing on dielectric micro and nanoparticles. For instance, it has been traditionally assumed that such optical forces are given by the electronic polarizability of the nanoparticle which mainly depends on its size. Nevertheless, this widely assumed behaviour has been ruled out to be false. In this work we discuss on the recent developments in the understanding of the nature of optical forces and torques acting on micro/nano dielectric particles. In addition, the possible bio-application of optically trapped dielectric nanoparticles will be discussed. As an example, their ability for the measurement of intracelullar temperature and viscosity will be demonstrated.