Optical pulling forces in hyperbolic metamaterials

Alexander S. Shalin, Sergey V. Sukhov, Andrey A. Bogdanov, Pavel A. Belov, Pavel Ginzburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Control over mechanical motion of nanoscale particles is a valuable functionality desired in a variety of multidisciplinary applications, e.g., biophysics, and it is usually achieved by employing optical forces. Hyperbolic metamaterials enable tailoring and enhancing electromagnetic scattering and, as the result, provide a platform for a new type of optical manipulation. Here optical pulling forces acting on a small particle placed inside a hyperbolic metamaterial slab were predicted and analyzed. In order to attract particles to a light source, highly confined extraordinary modes of hyperbolic metamaterial were excited via scattering from an imperfection situated at the slab's interface. This type of structured illumination together with remarkable scattering properties, inspired by the hyperbolic dispersion in the metamaterial, creates optical attraction. Forces acting on high-, low-index dielectric, and gold particles were investigated and it was shown that the pulling effect emerges in all of the cases. The ability to control mechanical motion at nanoscale using auxiliary photonic structures paves the way for investigation of various phenomena, e.g., biochemical reactions, molecular dynamics, and more.

Original languageEnglish
Article number063830
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 24 Jun 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Optical pulling forces in hyperbolic metamaterials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this