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Efficient Optical Manipulation of Janus Particles by Optical Nanofibers
preprintposted on 2023-01-12, 13:42 authored by Cindy Esporlas, Georgiy Tkachenko, Isha Sanskriti, Viet Giang Truong, Síle Nic Chormaic
Small composite objects, known as Janus particles, drive sustained scientific interest primarily targeted at biomedical applications, where such objects act as micro- or nanoscale actuators, carriers, or imaging agents. The major practical challenge is to develop effective methods for manipulation of Janus particles. The available long-range methods mostly rely on chemical reactions or thermal gradients, therefore having mediocre precision and strong dependency on the content and properties of the carrier fluid. To tackle these limitations, we propose the manipulation of Janus particles (here, silica microspheres half-coated with gold) by optical forces in the evanescent field of an optical nanofiber. We find that Janus particles exhibit stronger transverse localization and faster propulsion compared to all-dielectric particles of the same size. The propulsion speed recorded for a 3-$\mu$m particle with a 20-nm-thick gold cap averages at 2~$\mu$m/s per 1~mW of optical power, reaching 133 body length/s at 200~mW going through the nanofiber.