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Opt Express. 2011 Aug 29;19(18):17065-74. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.017065.

Massive photothermal trapping and migration of particles by a tapered optical fiber.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, School of Physics and Engineering, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China.


A simple but highly efficient method for particles or bacteria trapping and removal from water is of great importance for local water purification, particularly, for sanitation. Here, we report a massive photothermal trapping and migration of dielectric particles (SiO2, 2.08-µm diameter) in water by using a tapered optical fiber (3.1-µm diameter for taper). With a laser beam of 1.55 µm (170 mW) injected into the fiber, particles moved towards the position, which is about 380 µm away from the tip of the fiber, and assembled at a 290 µm × 100 µm spindle-shaped region. The highest assembly speed of particles is 22.1 ind./s and the highest moving velocity is 20.5 µm/s, which were induced by both negative photophoresis and temperature gradient. The number of assembled particles can reach 10,150 in 15 minutes. With a move of the fiber, the assembled particles will also migrate. We found that, when the fiber was moved 172 µm away from its original location, almost all of the assembled 10,150 particles were migrated to a new location in 140 s with a distance of 172 µm from their original location.

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