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Optically Driven Nanorotors: Experiments and Model Calculations

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We show that asymmetric nanorods rotate under the laser radiation pressure, irrespective of the polarization of the light, when trapped in laser tweezers. If a nanorod is not quite transparent to the trapping laser radiation, the radiation pressure force generates a non zero torque on the asymmetric nanorods making them rotate at a moderate speed. Our experimental observations on radiation pressure driven rotations of MgO and Si nanorods in optical trap show that the efficiency of the rotors depends directly on their transmittance at the trapping wavelength. We propose theoretical models to estimate the rotational speed at different laser powers for a rotor with shape asymmetries or surface irregularities.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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