- “Optical tweezing and binding at high irradiation powers on black-Si.”
- Sci. Rep., Vol. 7 (2017), 12298.
- DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-12470-9 (Open Access)
Nowadays, optical tweezers have undergone explosive developments in accordance with a great progress of lasers. In the last decade, a breakthrough brought optical tweezers into the nano-world, overcoming the diffraction limit. This is called plasmonic optical tweezers (POT). POT are powerful tools used to manipulate nanomaterials. However, POT has several practical issues that need to be overcome. First, it is rather difficult to fabricate plasmonic nanogap structures regularly and rapidly at low cost. Second, in many cases, POT suffers from thermal effects (Marangoni convection and thermophoresis). Here, we propose an alternative approach using a nano-structured material that can enhance the optical force and be applied to optical tweezers. This material is metal-free black silicon (MFBS), the plasma etched nano-textured Si. We demonstrate that MFBS-based optical tweezers can efficiently manipulate small particles by trapping and binding. The advantages of MFBS-based optical tweezers are: (1) simple fabrication with high uniformity over wafer-sized areas, (2) free from thermal effects detrimental for trapping, (3) switchable trapping between one and two – dimensions, (4) tight trapping because of no detrimental thermal forces. This is the NON-PLASMONIC optical tweezers.