Fast and efficient nanoparticle trapping using plasmonic connected nanoring apertures

Nanotechnology. 2021 Jan 8;32(2):025507. doi: 10.1088/1361-6528/abbca9.


The manipulation of microparticles using optical forces has led to many applications in the life and physical sciences. To extend optical trapping towards the nano-regime, in this work we demonstrate trapping of single nanoparticles in arrays of plasmonic coaxial nano-apertures with various inner disk sizes and theoretically estimate the associated forces. A high normalized experimental trap stiffness of 3.50 fN nm-1 mW-1 μm-2 for 20 nm polystyrene particles is observed for an optimum design of 149 nm for the nanodisk diameter at a trapping wavelength of 980 nm. Theoretical simulations are used to interpret the enhancement of the observed trap stiffness. A quick particle trapping time of less than 8 s is obtained at a concentration of 14 × 1011 particles ml-1 with low incident laser intensity of 0.59 mW μm-2. This good trapping performance with fast delivery of nanoparticles to multiple trapping sites emerges from a combination of the enhanced electromagnetic near-field and spatial temperature increase. This work has applications in nanoparticle delivery and trapping with high accuracy, and bridges the gap between optical manipulation and nanofluidics.