Cavity-Assisted Manipulation of Freely Rotating Silicon Nanorods in High Vacuum

Stefan Kuhn, Peter Asenbaum, Alon Kosloff, Michele Sclafani, Benjamin A. Stickler, Stefan Nimmrichter, Klaus Hornberger, Ori Cheshnovsky, Fernando Patolsky, Markus Arndt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Optical control of nanoscale objects has recently developed into a thriving field of research with far-reaching promises for precision measurements, fundamental quantum physics and studies on single-particle thermodynamics. Here, we demonstrate the optical manipulation of silicon nanorods in high vacuum. Initially, we sculpture these particles into a silicon substrate with a tailored geometry to facilitate their launch into high vacuum by laser-induced mechanical cleavage. We manipulate and trace their center-of-mass and rotational motion through the interaction with an intense intracavity field. Our experiments show that the anisotropy of the nanorotors leads to optical forces that are three times stronger than on silicon nanospheres of the same mass. The optical torque experienced by the spinning rods will enable cooling of the rotational motion and torsional optomechanics in a dissipation-free environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5604-5608
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - 12 Aug 2015


  • Nanoparticle launching
  • cavity optomechanics
  • nanoparticle detection
  • silicon nanorods


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