Alignment, Rotation, and Spinning of Single Plasmonic Nanoparticles and Nanowires Using Polarization Dependent Optical Forces
Journal article, 2010
We demonstrate optical alignment and rotation of individual plasmonic nanostructures with lengths from Lens of nanometers to several micrometers using a single beam of linearly polarized near-infrared laser light. Silver nanorods and dimers of gold nanoparticles align parallel to the laser polarization because of the high long-axis dipole polarizability. Silver nanowires, in contrast, spontaneously turn perpendicular to the incident polarization and predominantly attach at the wire ends, in agreement with electrodynamics simulations. Wires, rods, and dimers all rotate if the incident polarization is turned. In the case of nanowires, we demonstrate spinning at an angular frequency of similar to 1 Hz due to transfer of spin angular momentum from circularly polarized light.