Research ArticleOPTICS

Optical selection and sorting of nanoparticles according to quantum mechanical properties

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Science Advances  13 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 3, eabd9551
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd9551

Abstract

Optical trapping and manipulation have been widely applied to biological systems, and their cutting-edge techniques are creating current trends in nanomaterial sciences. The resonant absorption of materials induces not only the energy transfer from photons to quantum mechanical motion of electrons but also the momentum transfer between them, resulting in dissipative optical forces that drive the macroscopic mechanical motion of the particles. However, optical manipulation, according to the quantum mechanical properties of individual nanoparticles, is still challenging. Here, we demonstrate selective transportation of nanodiamonds with and without nitrogen-vacancy centers by balancing resonant absorption and scattering forces induced by two different-colored lasers counterpropagating along a nanofiber. Furthermore, we propose a methodology for precisely determining the absorption cross sections for single nanoparticles by monitoring the optically driven motion, which is called as “optical force spectroscopy.” This method provides a novel direction in optical manipulation technology toward development of functional nanomaterials and quantum devices.

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