Nanoparticles are becoming ubiquitous in applications including diagnostic assays, drug delivery and therapeutics. However, there remain challenges in the quality control of these products. Here we present methods for the orthogonal measurement of these parameters by tracking the motion of the nanoparticle in all three special dimensions as it interacts with an optical waveguide. These simultaneous measurements from a single particle basis address some of the gaps left by current measurement technologies such as nanoparticle tracking analysis, ζ-potential measurements, and absorption spectroscopy. As nanoparticles suspended in a microfluidic channel interact with the evanescent field of an optical waveguide, they experience forces and resulting motion in three dimensions: along the propagation axis of the waveguide (x-direction) they are propelled by the optical forces, parallel to the plane of the waveguide and perpendicular to the optical propagation axis (y-direction) they experience an optical gradient force generated from the waveguide mode profile which confines them in a harmonic potential well, and normal to the surface of the waveguide they experience an exponential downward optical force balanced by the surface interactions that confines the particle in an asymmetric well. Building on our Nanophotonic Force Microscopy technique, in this talk we will explain how to simultaneously use the motion in the y-direction to estimate the size of the particle, the comparative velocity in the x-direction to measure the polydispersity of a particle population, and the motion in the z-direction to measure the potential energy landscape of the interaction, providing insight into the colloidal stability.
Perry Schein, Dakota O'Dell, and David Erickson, "Measurement of nanoparticle size, suspension polydispersity, and stability using near-field optical trapping and light scattering (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10077, Nanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications XIV, 100770O (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 01, 2017; Published: 24 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252138.5381802523001.
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