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.
|Journal||Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics|
|State||Published - 24 Jun 2015|