Surface Interactions of Gold Nanoparticles Optically Trapped against an Interface
Journal article, 2019
Particles that diffuse in close proximity to a surface are expected to behave differently than in free solution because the surface interaction will influence a number of physical properties, including the hydrodynamic, optical, and thermal characteristics of the particle. Understanding the influence of such effects is particularly important in view of the increasing interest in laser tweezing of colloidal resonant nanoparticles for applications such as nanomotors and optical printing and for investigations of unconventional optical forces. Therefore, we used total internal reflection microscopy to probe the interaction between a glass surface and individual ∼100 nm gold nanoparticles trapped by laser tweezers. The results show that particles can be optically confined at controllable distances ranging between ∼30 and ∼90 nm from the surface, depending on the radiation pressure of the trapping laser and the ionic screening of the surrounding liquid. Moreover, the full particle-surface distance probability distribution can be obtained for single nanoparticles by analyzing temporal signal fluctuations. The experimental results are in excellent agreement with Brownian dynamics simulations that take the full force field and photothermal heating into account. At the observed particle-surface distances, translational friction coefficients increase by up to 60% compared to freely diffusing particles, whereas the rotational friction and thermal dissipation are much less affected. The methodology used here is general and can be adapted to a range of single nanoparticle-surface interaction investigations.