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Phys Rev Lett. 2002 Mar 25;88(12):123601. Epub 2002 Mar 8.

Optical trapping and manipulation of nano-objects with an apertureless probe.

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Institut Fresnel (UMR 6133), Faculté des Sciences et Techniques de St Jérôme, F-13397 Marseille Cedex 20, France.


We propose a novel way to trap and manipulate nano-objects above a dielectric substrate using an apertureless near-field probe. A combination of evanescent illumination and light scattering at the probe apex is used to shape the optical field into a localized, three-dimensional optical trap. We use the coupled-dipole method and the Maxwell stress tensor to provide a self-consistent description of the optical force, including retardation and the influence of the substrate. We show that small objects can be selectively captured and manipulated under realistic conditions.

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