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Particle trapping and manipulation using near-field optics

Sile Nic Cormaic (Okinawa Institute for Science and Technology)
When Feb 28, 2020
from 11:00 to 12:00
Where Meeting room M7
Attendees Sile Nic Cormaic
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Most of us are somewhat familiar with optical tweezers for manipulating and trapping small particles, particularly since Ashkin won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his major contributions to this field in 2018. However, tweezers have a major limitation in that the light intensity needed to trap very small particles tends to destroy the particle itself before it can be trapped.  Alternative non-destructive trapping platforms have been devised for submicron particles and in this talk I’ll present our work on some of these, such as the tapered optical fibre, the microbubble resonator and thin film metasurfaces.  Using a variety of different techniques we can trap particles ranging in size from several micron to a few nm.  Aside from developing these techniques, we’ve also benefitted from this research journey by learning how light behaves when confined to sub wavelength structures and how some of its unique properties can be transferred to the trapped particle in surprising ways, some of which I’ll demonstrate.