Optical forces in nanowire pairs and metamaterials
Journal article, 2010
We study the optical force arising when isolated gold nanowire pairs and metamaterials with a gold nanowire pair in the unit cell are illuminated with laser radiation. Firstly, we show that isolated nanowire pairs are subject to much stronger optical forces than nanospheres due to their stronger electric and magnetic dipole resonances. We also investigate the properties of the optical force as a function of the length of the nanowires and of the distance between the nanowires. Secondly, we study the optical force in a metamaterial that consists of a periodic array of nanowire pairs. We show that the ratio of the size of the unit cell to the length of the nanowires determines whether the electric dipole resonance leads to an attractive or a repulsive force, and we present the underlying physical mechanism for this effect.