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Contactless optical spinning tweezers with tunable rotation frequency

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posted on 2023-01-11, 22:51 authored by N. Hameed, T. Zeghdoudi, B. Guichardaz, A. Mezeghrane, M. Suarez, N. Courjal, M. -P. Bernal, A. Belkhir, F. I. Baida
Advances in optical trapping design principles have led to tremendous progress in manipulating nanoparticles (NPs) with diverse functionalities in different environments using bulky systems. However, efficient control and manipulation of NPs in harsh environments require a careful design of contactless optical tweezers. Here, we propose a simple design of a fibered optical probe allowing the trapping of dielectric NPs in a contactless regime as well as a transfer of the angular momentum of light to the NP inducing its mechanical rotation. A polarization conversion from linear (guided fundamental mode) to circular one is provoked geometrically by breaking the cylindrical symmetry of a coaxial nano-aperture that is engraved at the apex of a tapered metal coated optical fiber. Numerical simulations show that this simple geometry tip allows powerful light transmission with efficient polarization conversion. This guarantees a very stable trapping in non-contact regime together with potentially highly tunable positive or negative rotation frequencies (up to 45~Hz in water and 5.3 MHz in air for 10 mW injected power in the fiber). This type of fiber probe opens the way to a new generation of miniaturized tools for total manipulation (trapping, sorting, spinning) of NPs.

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