ABSTRACT: Opto-thermoelectric tweezers present a new paradigm for optical trapping and manipulation of particles using low-power and simple optics. New real-life applications of opto-thermoelectric tweezers in areas such as biophysics, microfluidics, and nanomanufacturing will require them to have large-scale and high-throughput manipulation capabilities in complex environments. Here, we present opto-thermoelectric speckle tweezers, which use speckle field consisting of many randomly distributed thermal hotspots that arise from an optical speckle pattern to trap multiple particles over large areas. By further integrating the speckle tweezers with a microfluidic system, we experimentally demonstrate their application for size-based nanoparticle filtration. With their low-power operation, simplicity, and versatility, opto-thermoelectric speckle tweezers will broaden the applications of optical manipulation techniques.
Project description:Recent advances in opto-thermophoretic tweezers open new avenues for low-power trapping and manipulation of nanoparticles with potential applications in colloidal assembly, nanomanufacturing, life sciences, and nanomedicine. However, to fully exploit the opto-thermophoretic tweezers for widespread applications, the enhancement of their versatility in nanoparticle manipulations is pivotal. For this purpose, we translate our newly developed opto-thermophoretic tweezers onto an optical fiber platform known as opto-thermophoretic fiber tweezers (OTFT). We have demonstrated the applications of OTFT as a nanoparticle concentrator, as a nanopipette for single particle delivery, and as a nanoprobe. The simple setup and functional versatility of OTFT would encourage its use in various fields such as additive manufacturing, single nanoparticle-cell interactions, and biosensing.
Project description:Light-based manipulation of colloidal particles holds great promise in fabrication of functional devices. Construction of complex colloidal superstructures using traditional optical tweezers is limited by high operation power and strong heating effect. Herein, we demonstrate low-power opto-thermophoretic manipulation and construction of colloidal superstructures in photocurable hydrogels. By introducing cationic surfactants into a hydrogel solution under a light-directed temperature field, we create both thermoelectric fields and depletion attraction forces to control the suspended colloidal particles. The particles of various sizes and compositions are thus trapped and organized into various superstructures. Furthermore, the colloidal superstructures are immobilized and patterned onto solid-state substrates through UV-induced photopolymerization of the hydrogel. Our opto-thermophoretic technique will open up avenues for bottom-up assembly of colloidal materials and devices.
Project description:Optomechanics arises from the photon momentum and its exchange with low-dimensional objects. It is well known that optical radiation exerts pressure on objects, pushing them along the light path. However, optical pulling of an object against the light path is still a counter-intuitive phenomenon. Herein, we present a general concept of optical pulling-opto-thermoelectric pulling (OTEP)-where the optical heating of a light-absorbing particle using a simple plane wave can pull the particle itself against the light path. This irradiation orientation-directed pulling force imparts self-restoring behaviour to the particles, and three-dimensional (3D) trapping of single particles is achieved at an extremely low optical intensity of 10-2?mW??m-2. Moreover, the OTEP force can overcome the short trapping range of conventional optical tweezers and optically drive the particle flow up to a macroscopic distance. The concept of self-induced opto-thermomechanical coupling is paving the way towards freeform optofluidic technology and lab-on-a-chip devices.
Project description:Optical manipulation of colloidal nanoparticles and molecules is significant in numerous fields. Opto-thermoelectric nanotweezers exploiting multiple coupling among light, heat, and electric fields enables the low-power optical trapping of nanoparticles on a plasmonic substrate. However, the management of light-to-heat conversion for the versatile and precise manipulation of nanoparticles is still elusive. Herein, we explore the opto-thermoelectric trapping at plasmonic antennas that serve as optothermal nanoradiators to achieve the low-power (?0.08 mW/?m2) and deterministic manipulation of nanoparticles. Specifically, precise optical manipulation of nanoparticles is achieved via optical control of the subwavelength thermal hot spots. We employ a femtosecond laser beam to further improve the heat localization and the precise trapping of single ?30 nm semiconductor quantum dots at the antennas where the plasmon-exciton coupling can be tuned. With its low-power, precise, and versatile particle control, the opto-thermoelectric manipulation can have applications in photonics, life sciences, and colloidal sciences.
Project description:Inspired by the "run-and-tumble" behaviours of Escherichia coli (<i>E. coli</i>) cells, we develop opto-thermoelectric microswimmers. The microswimmers are based on dielectric-Au Janus particles driven by a self-sustained electrical field that arises from the asymmetric optothermal response of the particles. Upon illumination by a defocused laser beam, the Janus particles exhibit an optically generated temperature gradient along the particle surfaces, leading to an opto-thermoelectrical field that propels the particles. We further discover that the swimming direction is determined by the particle orientation. To enable navigation of the swimmers, we propose a new optomechanical approach to drive the in-plane rotation of Janus particles under a temperature-gradient-induced electrical field using a focused laser beam. Timing the rotation laser beam allows us to position the particles at any desired orientation and thus to actively control the swimming direction with high efficiency. By incorporating dark-field optical imaging and a feedback control algorithm, we achieve automated propelling and navigation of the microswimmers. Our opto-thermoelectric microswimmers could find applications in the study of opto-thermoelectrical coupling in dynamic colloidal systems, active matter, biomedical sensing, and targeted drug delivery.
Project description:Optical manipulation of plasmonic nanoparticles provides opportunities for fundamental and technical innovation in nanophotonics. Optical heating arising from the photon-to-phonon conversion is considered as an intrinsic loss in metal nanoparticles, which limits their applications. We show here that this drawback can be turned into an advantage, by developing an extremely low-power optical tweezing technique, termed opto-thermoelectric nanotweezers (OTENT). Through optically heating a thermoplasmonic substrate, alight-directed thermoelectric field can be generated due to spatial separation of dissolved ions within the heating laser spot, which allows us to manipulate metal nanoparticles of a wide range of materials, sizes and shapes with single-particle resolution. In combination with dark-field optical imaging, nanoparticles can be selectively trapped and their spectroscopic response can be resolved in-situ. With its simple optics, versatile low-power operation, applicability to diverse nanoparticles, and tuneable working wavelength, OTENT will become a powerful tool in colloid science and nanotechnology.
Project description:An opto-thermocapillary micromanipulator (OTMm) capable of single-cell manipulation and patterning is presented here. The OTMm uses a near-infrared laser focused on an ITO substrate to induce thermocapillary convection that can trap and transport living cells with forces of up to 40 pN. The OTMm complements other cell-manipulation technologies, such as optical tweezers and dielectrophoresis, as it is less dependent upon the optical and electrical properties of the working environment, and can function in many types of cell culture media. The OTMm was used to construct single-cell matrices in two popular hydrogels: PEGDA and agarose. High viability rates were observed in both hydrogels, and cells patterned in agarose spread and migrated during subsequent culturing.
Project description:Particles manipulation with optical forces is known as optical tweezing. While tweezing in free space with laser beams was established in the 1980s, integrating the optical tweezers on a chip is a challenging task. Recent experiments with plasmonic nanoantennas, microring resonators, and photonic crystal nanocavities have demonstrated optical trapping. However, the optical field of a tweezer made of a single microscopic resonator cannot be shaped. So far, this prevents from optically driven micromanipulations. Here we propose an alternative approach where the shape of the optical trap can be tuned by the wavelength in coupled nanobeam cavities. Using these shapeable tweezers, we present micromanipulation of polystyrene microspheres trapped on a silicon chip. These results show that coupled nanobeam cavities are versatile building blocks for optical near-field engineering. They open the way to much complex integrated tweezers using networks of coupled nanobeam cavities for particles or bio-objects manipulation at a larger scale.
Project description:Acoustic tweezers use sound radiation forces to manipulate matter without contact. They provide unique characteristics compared with the more established optical tweezers, such as higher trapping forces per unit input power and the ability to manipulate objects from the micrometer to the centimeter scale. They also enable the trapping of a wide range of sample materials in various media. A dramatic advancement in optical tweezers was the development of holographic optical tweezers (HOT) which enabled the independent manipulation of multiple particles leading to applications such as the assembly of 3D microstructures and the probing of soft matter. Now, 20 years after the development of HOT, we present the realization of holographic acoustic tweezers (HAT). We experimentally demonstrate a 40-kHz airborne HAT system implemented using two 256-emitter phased arrays and manipulate individually up to 25 millimetric particles simultaneously. We show that the maximum trapping forces are achieved once the emitting array satisfies Nyquist sampling and an emission phase discretization below ?/8 radians. When considered on the scale of a wavelength, HAT provides similar manipulation capabilities as HOT while retaining its unique characteristics. The examples shown here suggest the future use of HAT for novel forms of displays in which the objects are made of physical levitating voxels, assembly processes in the micrometer and millimetric scale, as well as positioning and orientation of multiple objects which could lead to biomedical applications.
Project description:We present a programmable, biocompatible technique for dynamically concentrating and patterning particles and cells in a microfluidic device. Since our technique utilizes opto-thermally generated, acoustically activated, surface bubbles, we name it "optoacoustic tweezers". The optoacoustic tweezers are capable of concentrating particles/cells at any prescribed locations in a microfluidic chamber without the use of permanent structures, rendering it particularly useful for the formation of flexible, complex cell patterns. Additionally, this technique has demonstrated excellent biocompatibility and can be conveniently integrated with other microfluidic units. In our experiments, micro-bubbles were generated by focusing a 405 nm diode laser onto a gold-coated glass chamber. By properly tuning the laser, we demonstrate precise control over the position and size of the generated bubbles. Acoustic waves were then applied to activate the surface bubbles, causing them to oscillate at an optimized frequency. The resulting acoustic radiation force allowed us to locally trap particles/cells, including 15 ?m polystyrene beads and HeLa cells, around each bubble. Cell-adhesion tests were also conducted after cell concentrating to confirm the biocompatibility of this technique.