Optical trapping has enabled studying a wide variety of questions and systems in chemistry, biology, physics, and materials science. For example, optical trapping has been used to understand hydrodynamic interactions in dilute and dense colloidal fluids and discover connections to granular materials. In this presentation we show that shaped optical fields and gradients can be used to study the electrodynamic interactions amongst nanoparticles (NPs) and drive them into new ordered states. We demonstrate the formation and use of NP-based optical matter to study a range of nonequilibrium phenomena in solution; field-driven barrier crossing phenomena and noise-driven ordering. Optical matter, a material that forms only in the presence of an optical field, involves NP interactions by optical scattering and interference. Metal NPs can be formed into regular arrangements in minimally shaped fields; e.g., in focused Gaussian beams, line traps, and optical ring traps. Inter-particle interactions and motions are also affected when the optical matter is driven. Particles recirculate in an optical ring vortex trap allowing long term measurements to examine rare events. In particular, particles can hop between optical binding sites, move past electrodynamic obstacles or pass each other while moving around the ring. The polarization state of the optical beam can be used to produce periodic variations of the NP electrodynamic interactions. As particles circulate this “noise” causes NP clusters to be less stable as if the temperature of the system is increased. Conversely, we observe noise-driven ordering in dense systems. We will explain these phenomena using simulations and theory.
Patrick Figliozzi, Nishant Sule, Zijie Yan, Suriyanarayanan Vaikuntanathan, Stuart A. Rice, and Norbert F. Scherer, "Driven optical matter
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9922, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XIII, 99221O (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 31, 2016; Published: 10 November 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2237397.5161456705001.
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