Nanomanipulation using near field photonics

David Erickson*, Xavier Serey, Yih Fan Chen, Sudeep Mandal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

231 Scopus citations


In this article we review the use of near-field photonics for trapping, transport and handling of nanomaterials. While the advantages of traditional optical tweezing are well known at the microscale, direct application of these techniques to the handling of nanoscale materials has proven difficult due to unfavourable scaling of the fundamental physics. Recently a number of research groups have demonstrated how the evanescent fields surrounding photonic structures like photonic waveguides, optical resonators, and plasmonic nanoparticles can be used to greatly enhance optical forces. Here, we introduce some of the most common implementations of these techniques, focusing on those which have relevance to microfluidic or optofluidic applications. Since the field is still relatively nascent, we spend much of the article laying out the fundamental and practical advantages that near field optical manipulation offers over both traditional optical tweezing and other particle handling techniques. In addition we highlight three application areas where these techniques namely could be of interest to the lab-on-a-chip community, namely: single molecule analysis, nanoassembly, and optical chromatography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1009
Number of pages15
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number6
StatePublished - 21 Mar 2011


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