We investigate the manipulation of microscopic and nanoscopic particles using the evanescent optical field surrounding an optical fiber that is tapered to a micron-scale diameter, and propose that this scheme could be used to discriminate between, and thereby sort, metallic nanoparticles. First we show experimentally the concept of the transport of micron-sized spheres along a tapered fiber and measure the particle velocity. Having demonstrated the principle we then consider theoretically the application to the optical trapping and guiding of metallic nanoparticles, where the presence of a plasmon resonance is used to enhance optical forces. We show that the dynamics of the nanoparticles trapped by the evanescent field can be controlled by the state of polarization of the fiber mode, and by using more than one wavelength differently detuned from the nanoparticle plasmon resonance. Such a scheme could potentially be used for selectively trapping and transporting nano- or microscopic material from a polydisperse suspension. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Skelton, S. E., Sergides, M., Patel, R., Karczewska, E., Maragó, O. M., & Jones, P. H. (2012). Evanescent wave optical trapping and transport of micro- and nanoparticles on tapered optical fibers. Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 113(18), 2512–2520. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jqsrt.2012.06.005