Enhanced optical trapping and arrangement of nano-objects in a plasmonic nanocavity

Chang Chen, Mathieu L. Juan, Yi Li, Guido Maes, Gustaaf Borghs, Pol Van Dorpe*, Romain Quidant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Citations (Scopus)


Gentle manipulation of micrometer-sized dielectric objects with optical forces has found many applications in both life and physical sciences. To further extend optical trapping toward the true nanometer scale, we present an original approach combining self-induced back action (SIBA) trapping with the latest advances in nanoscale plasmon engineering. The designed resonant trap, formed by a rectangular plasmonic nanopore, is successfully tested on 22 nm polystyrene beads, showing both single- and double-bead trapping events. The mechanism responsible for the higher stability of the double-bead trapping is discussed, in light of the statistical analysis of the experimental data and numerical calculations. Furthermore, we propose a figure of merit that we use to quantify the achieved trapping efficiency and compare it to prior optical nanotweezers. Our approach may open new routes toward ultra-accurate immobilization and arrangement of nanoscale objects, such as biomolecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-132
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2012


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