Directional scattering and multipolar contributions to optical forces on silicon nanoparticles in focused laser beams
Journal article, 2018
Nanoparticles made of high index dielectric materials have seen a surge of interest and have been proposed for various applications, such as metalenses, light harvesting and directional scattering. With the advent of fabrication techniques enabling colloidal suspensions, the prospects of optical manipulation of such nanoparticles becomes paramount. High index nanoparticles support electric and magnetic multipolar responses in the visible regime and interference between such modes can give rise to highly directional scattering, in particular a cancellation of back-scattered radiation at the first Kerker condition. Here we present a study of the optical forces on silicon nanoparticles in the visible and near infrared calculated using the transfer matrix method. The zero-backscattering Kerker condition is investigated as an avenue to reduce radiation pressure in an optical trap. We find that while asymmetric scattering does reduce the radiation pressure, the main determining factor of trap stability is the increased particle response near the geometric resonances. The trap stability for non-spherical silicon nanoparticles is also investigated and we find that ellipsoidal deformation of spheres enables trapping of slightly larger particles.