New Optical Tweezing Method Can Move Particles Only 2 Nanometers in Size
December 5, 2012 7:39 PM
comment(s) - last by
New aperture design (left) with two layers of silver separated by another of silicon dioxide
(Source: Stanford School of Engineering)
The new method is a plasmonic trap, which uses the optical/electronic characteristics of metals to move particles with light
A new method of optical tweezing can
as small as 2 nanometers with the use of light.
A team of Stanford researchers, led by Amr Saleh and Jennifer Dione, is responsible for the new technique. While optical tweezing itself isn't new, the ability to move particles as small as 2 nanometers (and potentially just a few atoms in size) is.
Optical tweezing involves a beam of light, which is shaped into a narrow point for a strong electromagnetic field. This beam attracts tiny particles, bacteria, etc. and allows them to be moved around as if they were manipulated by tweezers.
The problem is that optical tweezing is that it "breaks down" for objects much smaller than the wavelength of light, meaning it can't pick up super small objects that are only a few nanometers or less. But now, Stanford's new optical tweezing technique has been able to move particles as small a 2 nanometers.
The new method is a
, which uses the optical and electronic characteristics of metals to move particles with light. When light waves meet these mobile electrons, they move and bend the light into plasmon-polaritons, which are electromagnetic waves. With their short wavelength (compared to visible light), they can trap small objects with a much firmer handle. In normal cases involving visible light, the diffraction limit of light makes it so the smallest space for trapping a particle is half the wavelength of the light beam. This means that trying to trap a particle that is 2 nanometers would require a space of 200 nanometers, offering loose control.
On top of the new gripping method, the scientists created an aperture that acts like coaxial cables to effectively focus the light. It's able to do this thanks to a silver coating within a thin layer of silicon dioxide, and both coatings are wrapped in an outer layer of silver. When light enters this ring of silicon dioxide, plasmons are produced where the silicon dioxide and silver meet. The plasmons then move along the aperture and come out of the other end as a more focused beam of light.
This could one day move tiny particles within living cells.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
IT'S A (PLASMONIC) TRAP!
12/6/2012 10:33:52 AM
Queue the tiny e-penis jokes.
12/6/2012 9:21:16 AM
"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
New Plasmonic Nanotweezers Used to Grab Tiny Parts Inside a Cell
September 27, 2011, 3:03 PM
Acoustic Tweezers Developed to Move Living Cells
August 31, 2009, 11:30 AM
U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II, F-22 Raptor Team Up for “Integration Training”
November 19, 2014, 9:15 AM
U.S. Marshals Using Fake, Airplane-based Cell Towers to Scan Cell Phones of Americans
November 14, 2014, 9:05 AM
Ford Enlists Wind Energy Corp. to Provide Wind, Solar Energy to Four U.S. Dealerships
November 10, 2014, 10:58 AM
Disney Reveals Star Wars Ep. VII Title -- "The Force Awakens"
November 6, 2014, 3:45 PM
U.S. Navy Lockheed F-35C Completes First Carrier Landing
November 4, 2014, 12:44 PM
Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen Donates $100M to Fight Raging Ebola Epidemic
October 23, 2014, 6:05 PM
Most Popular Articles
Wal-Mart: Miss Thanksgiving, Get Xbox One + Master Chief Collection for $299
November 17, 2014, 9:40 PM
Nokia Lumia 635 LTE Windows Phone is Only $40 at Best Buy on Black Friday
November 18, 2014, 11:59 AM
Uber Exec Threatens to "Spend Millions" to Stalk Female Reporter and Her Family
November 19, 2014, 12:31 PM
Toyota’s Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Priced from $57,500 in the U.S.
November 18, 2014, 10:23 AM
Rand Paul Casts Crucial "No" Vote on Obama-Backed PATRIOT Act Renewal Bill
November 19, 2014, 5:15 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information