Nanoradiator-Mediated Deterministic Opto-Thermoelectric Manipulation


Optical manipulation of colloidal nanoparticles and molecules is significant in numerous fields. Opto-thermoelectric nanotweezers exploiting multiple coupling among light, heat, and electric fields enables the low-power optical trapping of nanoparticles on a plasmonic substrate. However, the management of light-to-heat conversion for the versatile and precise manipulation of nanoparticles is still elusive. Herein, we explore the opto-thermoelectric trapping at plasmonic antennas that serve as optothermal nanoradiators to achieve the low-power (∼0.08 mW/µm$^2$) and deterministic manipulation of nanoparticles. Specifically, precise optical manipulation of nanoparticles is achieved via optical control of the subwavelength thermal hot spots. We employ a femtosecond laser beam to further improve the heat localization and the precise trapping of single ∼30 nm semiconductor quantum dots at the antennas where the plasmon–exciton coupling can be tuned. With its low-power, precise, and versatile particle control, the opto-thermoelectric manipulation can have applications in photonics, life sciences, and colloidal sciences.

Journal article
ACS Nano