Light-induced thermoosmosis about conducting ellipsoidal nanoparticles

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We consider the central problem of a non-spherical (ellipsoidal) polarizable (metallic) nanoparticle freely suspended in a conducting liquid phase which is irradiated (heated) by a laser under the Rayleigh (electrostatic) approximation. It is shown that, unlike the case of perfectly symmetric (spherical) particles, the surface temperature of general orthotropic particles exposed to continuous laser irradiation is not uniform! Thus, the induced surface slip (Soret type) velocity may lead to a self-induced thermoosmotic flow (sTOF) about the particle, in a similar manner to the electroosmotic flow driven by the Helmholtz—Smoluchowski slippage. Using the recent advancement in the theory of Lamé functions and ellipsoidal harmonics, we analytically present new solutions for two key physical problems. (i) Heat conduction and temperature distribution inside and outside a conducting laser-irradiated homogeneous tri-axial ellipsoid which is subjected to uniform Joule heating. (ii) Creeping (Stokes) sTOF around a fixed impermeable metallic ellipsoidal nanoparticle driven by a Soret-type surface slip velocity (i.e. proportional to the surface-temperature gradient).

Original languageEnglish
Article number20180040
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2223
StatePublished - 2019


  • Ellipsoidal harmonics
  • Heat conduction and joule heating in ellipsoidal nanoparticles
  • Lamé functions
  • Light-induced thermoosmosis and opto-thermo-fluidics
  • Thermoplasmonics


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