A Photonic Nanojet as Tunable and Polarization-Sensitive Optical Tweezers

Aleksandr Kovrov, Andrey Novitsky, Alina Karabchevsky, Alexander S. Shalin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The ability to manipulate small objects with focused laser beams has opened a venue for investigating dynamical phenomena relevant to both fundamental and applied sciences. However, manipulating nano‐sized objects requires subwavelength field localization, provided by auxiliary nano‐ and microstructures. Particularly, dielectric microparticles can be used to confine light to an intense beam with a subwavelength waist, called a photonic nanojet (PNJ), which can provide sufficient field gradients for trapping nano‐objects. Herein, the scheme for wavelength‐tunable and nanoscale‐precise optical trapping is elaborated, and the possibility of lateral nanoparticle movement using the PNJ's side lobes is shown for the first time. In addition, the possibility of subwavelength positioning using polarization switching is shown. The estimated stability with respect to Brownian motion is higher compared to conventional optical trapping schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800129
JournalAnnalen der Physik
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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