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Nano Lett. 2011 Nov 9;11(11):4597-600. doi: 10.1021/nl201996t. Epub 2011 Oct 3.

Plasmonic nanoparticle chain in a light field: a resonant optical sail.

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Departamento de Física de la Materia Condensada, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain.


Optical trapping and driving of small objects has become a topic of increasing interest in multidisciplinary sciences. We propose to use a chain made of metallic nanoparticles as a resonant light sail, attached by one end point to a transparent object and propelling it by the use of electromagnetic radiation. Driving forces exerted on the chain are theoretically studied as a function of radiation's wavelength and chain's alignments with respect to the direction of radiation. Interestingly, there is a window in the frequency spectrum in which null-torque equilibrium configuration, with minimum geometric cross section, corresponds to a maximum in the driving force.

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