Friday, July 29, 2016

An all fiber apparatus for microparticles selective manipulation based on a variable ratio coupler and a microfiber

Baoli Li, Wei Luo, Fei Xu, Yanqing Lu

We propose an all fiber apparatus based on a variable ratio coupler which can transport microparticles controllably and trap particles one by one along a microfiber. By connecting two output ports of a variable ratio coupler with two end pigtails of a microfiber and launching a 980 nm laser into the variable ratio coupler, particles in suspension were trapped to the waist of microfiber due to a gradient force and then transported along the microfiber due to a total scattering force generated by two counter-propagating beams. The direction of transportation was controlled by altering the coupling ratio of the variable ratio coupler. When the intensities of two output ports were equivalent, trapped particles stayed at fixed positions. With time going, another particle around the micro fiber was trapped onto the microfiber. There were three particles trapped in total in our experiment. This technique combines with the function of conventional tweezers and optical conveyor.


Dual-component gene detection for H7N9 virus – the combination of optical trapping and bead-based fluorescence assay

Di Cao, Cheng-Yu Li, Ya-Feng Kang, Yi Lin, Ran Cui, Dai-Wen Pang, Hong-Wu Tang

We present a strategy of dual-component gene detection for avian influenza A virus H7N9 by combining optical trapping and bead-based fluorescence bioassays. A low-cost 473 nm continuous DPSS laser, polystyrene (PS) beads with two different sizes (3 µm and 5 µm in diameter) and streptavidin-modified 605 nm quantum dots (SA-QDs) were exploited in this platform. The beads were employed to enrich the targets using the classic sandwich mode and tagged with the SA-QDs, then the QDs-tagged beads floating in the suspension were directly trapped and excited by the optical tweezers to give strong and stable fluorescence signal, which was applied to quantify the targets. The distinctive size information from the image of the trapped beads enabled the sorting of the different targets. The results show that tiny laser power 40 μW is applicable for both trapping and fluorescence excitation of the beads. Moreover, the limits of detection for hemagglutinin7 (H7) gene and neuraminidase 9 (N9) gene are 1.0 – 2.0 pM with good selectivity for the complex sample, which is two orders of magnitude lower than that of the conventional method. More importantly, this strategy was successfully used to identify the subtype of the avian influenza A virus by simultaneous detection of H7 and N9 gene sequences. The high sensitivity, good selectivity, typing ability and the low cost of the laser make this strategy a promising method for life science and clinical applications.


Forces from the Portal Govern the Late-Stage DNA Transport in a Viral DNA Packaging Nanomotor

Peng Jing, Benjamin Burris, Rong Zhang

In the Phi29 bacteriophage, the DNA packaging nanomotor packs its double-stranded DNA genome into the virus capsid. At the late stage of DNA packaging, the negatively charged genome is increasingly compacted at a higher density in the capsid with a higher internal pressure. During the process, two Donnan effects, osmotic pressure and Donnan equilibrium potentials, are significantly amplified, which, in turn, affect the channel activity of the portal protein, GP10, embedded in the semipermeable capsid shell. In the research, planar lipid bilayer experiments were used to study the channel activities of the viral protein. The Donnan effect on the conformational changes of the viral protein was discovered, indicating GP10 may not be a static channel at the late stage of DNA packaging. Due to the conformational changes, GP10 may generate electrostatic forces that govern the DNA transport. For the section of the genome DNA that remains outside of the connector channel, a strong repulsive force from the viral protein would be generated against the DNA entry; however, for the section of the genome DNA within the channel, the portal protein would become a Brownian motor, which adopts the flash Brownian ratchet mechanism to pump the DNA against the increasingly built-up internal pressure (up to 20 atm) in the capsid. Therefore, the DNA transport in the nanoscale viral channel at the late stage of DNA packaging could be a consequence of Brownian movement of the genomic DNA, which would be rectified and harnessed by the forces from the interior wall of the viral channel under the influence of the Donnan effect.


Cell stretching devices as research tools: engineering and biological considerations

Harshad Kamble, Matthew J. Barton, Myeongjun Jun, Sungsu Park and Nam-Trung Nguyen

Cells within the human body are subjected to continuous, cyclic mechanical strain caused by various organ functions, movement, and growth. Cells are well known to have the ability to sense and respond to mechanical stimuli. This process is referred to as mechanotransduction. A better understanding of mechanotransduction is of great interest to clinicians and scientists alike to improve clinical diagnosis and understanding of medical pathology. However, the complexity involved in in vivo biological systems creates a need for better in vitro technologies, which can closely mimic the cells' microenvironment using induced mechanical strain. This technology gap motivates the development of cell stretching devices for better understanding of the cell response to mechanical stimuli. This review focuses on the engineering and biological considerations for the development of such cell stretching devices. The paper discusses different types of stretching concepts, major design consideration and biological aspects of cell stretching and provides a perspective for future development in this research area.


Near-Field, On-Chip Optical Brownian Ratchets

Shao-Hua Wu, Ningfeng Huang, Eric Jaquay, and Michelle L. Povinelli

Nanoparticles in aqueous solution are subject to collisions with solvent molecules, resulting in random, Brownian motion. By breaking the spatiotemporal symmetry of the system, the motion can be rectified. In nature, Brownian ratchets leverage thermal fluctuations to provide directional motion of proteins and enzymes. In man-made systems, Brownian ratchets have been used for nanoparticle sorting and manipulation. Implementations based on optical traps provide a high degree of tunability along with precise spatiotemporal control. Here, we demonstrate an optical Brownian ratchet based on the near-field traps of an asymmetrically patterned photonic crystal. The system yields over 25 times greater trap stiffness than conventional optical tweezers. Our technique opens up new possibilities for particle manipulation in a microfluidic, lab-on-chip environment.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Nanomanipulation and controlled self-assembly of metal nanoparticles and nanocrystals for plasmonics

Shangjr Gwo, Hung-Ying Chen, Meng-Hsien Lin, Liuyang Sun and Xiaoqin Li

Localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs) associated with metallic nanostructures offer unique possibilities for light concentration beyond the diffraction limit, which can lead to strong field confinement and enhancement in deep subwavelength regions. In recent years, many transformative plasmonic applications have emerged, taking advantage of the spectral and spatial tunability of LSPRs enabled by near-field coupling between constituent metallic nanostructures in a variety of plasmonic metastructures (dimers, metamolecules, metasurfaces, metamaterials, etc.). For example, the “hot spot” formed at the interstitial site (gap) between two coupled metallic nanostructures in a plasmonic dimer can be spectrally tuned via the gap size. Capitalizing on these capabilities, there have been significant advances in plasmon enhanced or enabled applications in light-based science and technology, including ultrahigh-sensitivity spectroscopies, light energy harvesting, photocatalysis, biomedical imaging and theranostics, optical sensing, nonlinear optics, ultrahigh-density data storage, as well as plasmonic metamaterials and metasurfaces exhibiting unusual linear and nonlinear optical properties. In this review, we present two complementary approaches for fabricating plasmonic metastructures. We discuss how meta-atoms can be assembled into unique plasmonic metastructures using a variety of nanomanipulation methods based on single- or multiple-probes in an atomic force microscope (AFM) or a scanning electron microscope (SEM), optical tweezers, and focused electron-beam nanomanipulation. We also provide a few examples of nanoparticle metamolecules with designed properties realized in such well-controlled plasmonic metastructures. For the spatial controllability on the mesoscopic and macroscopic scales, we show that controlled self-assembly is the method of choice to realize scalable two-dimensional, and three-dimensional plasmonic metastructures. In the section of applications, we discuss some key examples of plasmonic applications based on individual hot spots or ensembles of hot spots with high uniformity and improved controllability.


Single-File Escape of Colloidal Particles from Microfluidic Channels

Emanuele Locatelli, Matteo Pierno, Fulvio Baldovin, Enzo Orlandini, Yizhou Tan, and Stefano Pagliara

Single-file diffusion is a ubiquitous physical process exploited by living and synthetic systems to exchange molecules with their environment. It is paramount to quantify the escape time needed for single files of particles to exit from constraining synthetic channels and biological pores. This quantity depends on complex cooperative effects, whose predominance can only be established through a strict comparison between theory and experiments. By using colloidal particles, optical manipulation, microfluidics, digital microscopy, and theoretical analysis we uncover the self-similar character of the escape process and provide closed-formula evaluations of the escape time. We find that the escape time scales inversely with the diffusion coefficient of the last particle to leave the channel. Importantly, we find that at the investigated microscale, bias forces as tiny as 10−15  N determine the magnitude of the escape time by drastically reducing interparticle collisions. Our findings provide crucial guidelines to optimize the design of micro- and nanodevices for a variety of applications including drug delivery, particle filtering, and transport in geometrical constrictions.


Highly-integrated, laser manipulable aqueous metal carbonyl vesicles (MCsomes) with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) and aggregation-enhanced IR absorption (AEIRA)

Nimer Murshid, Ken-ichi Yuyama, San-Lien Wu, Kuan-Yi Wu, Hiroshi Masuhara, Chien-Lung Wang and Xiaosong Wang

A highly-integrated, laser manipulable multi-functional metal carbonyl nanovesicle (MCsome) with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) and aggregation-enhanced IR absorption (AEIRA) is created via the self-assembly of a bithiophene tethered-Fp acyl derivative (Fp: CpFe(CO)2) (1). Although 1 is hydrophobic and non-surface-active, the molecule can self-assemble in water into vesicles without detectable critical aggregation concentration (CAC). The water–carbonyl interaction (WCI) is responsible for the colloidal stability. The bilayer membrane structure with the bithiophene moieties associated within the inner wall and the iron-carbonyl units exposed to water is confirmed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and cyclic voltammetry (CV) experiments. The synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) experiment suggests that the bithiophene groups are interdigitated within the membrane. The spatial segregation of the AIE-active bithiophene domain from the iron-carbonyl units by the butanoyl spacers prevents the quenching effect of the iron and renders the MCsome photoluminescent. The polarizable iron-carbonyl groups on the surface of the MCsome create an enhanced optical field upon infrared (IR) irradiation, resulting in an enhancement (ca. 100-fold) in IR absorption for the carbonyl groups as compared to the same concentration of molecule 1 in THF. When the MCsome interacts with a focused continuous-wave near-IR (NIR) laser beam, a strong gradient (trapping) force is generated allowing the laser trapping of the MCsome without using additives. A sharp contrast in the refractive index (RI) of 1 (RI = 1.71) with water (RI = 1.33) accounts for this laser manipulability that is difficult to be achieved for nanosized liposomes (RI = 1.46). As illustrated, the MCsome of 1 represents a novel group of vesicular colloids, which is amenable to functional materials complementary to extensively studied liposomes and polymersomes.


Optical trapping and control of nanoparticles inside evacuated hollow core photonic crystal fibers

David Grass, Julian Fesel, Sebastian G. Hofer, Nikolai Kiesel and Markus Aspelmeyer

We demonstrate an optical conveyor belt for levitated nanoparticles over several centimeters inside both air-filled and evacuated hollow-core photonic crystal fibers (HCPCF). Detection of the transmitted light field allows three-dimensional read-out of the particle center-of-mass motion. An additional laser enables axial radiation pressure based feedback cooling over the full fiber length. We show that the particle dynamics is a sensitive local probe for characterizing the optical intensity profile inside the fiber as well as the pressure distribution along the fiber axis. In contrast to some theoretical predictions, we find a linear pressure dependence inside the HCPCF, extending over three orders of magnitude from 0.2 mbar to 100 mbar. A targeted application is the controlled delivery of nanoparticles from ambient pressure into medium vacuum.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Noise-to-signal transition of a Brownian particle in the cubic potential: II. optical trapping geometry

Pavel Zemánek, Martin Šiler, Oto Brzobohatý, Petr Jákl and Radim Filip

The noise-to-signal transitions belong to an exciting group of processes in physics. In Filip and Zemánek (2016, J. Opt. 18 065401) we theoretically analyse the stochastic noise-to-signal transition of overdamped Brownian motion of a particle in the cubic potential. In this part, we propose a feasible experimental setup for a proof-of-principle experiment that uses methods of optical trapping in shaped laser beams which provide cubic and quadratic potentials. Theoretical estimates and results from the numerical simulations indicate that the noise-to-signal transition can be observed under realistic experimental conditions.


Tracking Control for Optical Manipulation With Adaptation of Trapping Stiffness

Xiang Li, Chien Chern Cheah

In the optical manipulation problem of biological cells, the optical trap works only in a small neighborhood around the centroid of a focused light beam. Due to the Gaussian distribution of light intensity, the trapping stiffness is dependent on the distance between the cell and the centroid of the laser beam. In addition, the parameters of the stiffness vary with laser power and sizes of cells, and hence, it is difficult to obtain the exact model of the trapping stiffness. This paper considers the tracking control problem for the optical manipulation with unknown trapping stiffness. In the presence of unknown trapping stiffness, the tracking control tasks fail and the stability of the control system may not be guaranteed. We present parameter update laws to update the unknown trapping stiffness and dynamic parameters concurrently and separately. With online adaptation of the unknown trapping stiffness, a tracking control method is developed for optical tweezers such that the laser beam is able to automatically trap and manipulate the cell to follow a desired time-varying trajectory. The stability of the optical tweezers system is analyzed using the Lyapunov method, with consideration of the dynamic interaction between the cell and the manipulator of the laser source. The experimental results are presented to illustrate the performance of the proposed adaptive tracking controller with unknown trapping stiffness.


Physical basis of some membrane shaping mechanisms

Mijo Simunovic, Coline Prévost, Andrew Callan-Jones, Patricia Bassereau

In vesicular transport pathways, membrane proteins and lipids are internalized, externalized or transported within cells, not by bulk diffusion of single molecules, but embedded in the membrane of small vesicles or thin tubules. The formation of these ‘transport carriers’ follows sequential events: membrane bending, fission from the donor compartment, transport and eventually fusion with the acceptor membrane. A similar sequence is involved during the internalization of drug or gene carriers inside cells. These membrane-shaping events are generally mediated by proteins binding to membranes. The mechanisms behind these biological processes are actively studied both in the context of cell biology and biophysics. Bin/amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain proteins are ideally suited for illustrating how simple soft matter principles can account for membrane deformation by proteins. We review here some experimental methods and corresponding theoretical models to measure how these proteins affect the mechanics and the shape of membranes. In more detail, we show how an experimental method employing optical tweezers to pull a tube from a giant vesicle may give important quantitative insights into the mechanism by which proteins sense and generate membrane curvature and the mechanism of membrane scission.


Enhanced and unusual angle-dependent optical forces exerted on Mie particles by Airy surface plasmon wave

Yang Yang, Yanli Xue, Jiafang Li and Zhi-Yuan Li

In this paper, using an angular spectrum method, we develop an analytical theory for Airy surface plasmon wave excited in a classical Kretschmann setup. It is found that the center of an Airy surface plasmon polariton (SPP) wave has a giant positive lateral shift, and the sidelobes move forward along the surface. The intensity of the Airy SPP wave is greatly enhanced, the corresponding optical forces can be enhanced by more than one order of magnitude. Importantly, we show that the sidelobes of the Airy SPP beam can lead to the splitting of optical force spectra with the variation of incident angle, which is accompanied by strong oscillations emerging at the optimal metal layer thickness. Moreover, the effects of multiple scatterings of the Airy SPP wave between the particle and the metal layer are also discussed. The theoretical analysis could open up new perspectives for the applications of Airy beam in optical manipulation and surface-enhanced Raman scattering.


Mechanical properties of DNA origami nanoassemblies are determined by Holliday junction mechanophores

Prakash Shrestha, Tomoko Emura, Deepak Koirala, Yunxi Cui, Kumi Hidaka, William J Maximuck, Masayuki Endo, Hiroshi Sugiyama, and Hanbin Mao

DNA nanoassemblies have demonstrated wide applications in various fields including nanomaterials, drug delivery and biosensing. In DNA origami, single-stranded DNA template is shaped into desired nanostructure by DNA staples that form Holliday junctions with the template. Limited by current methodologies, however, mechanical properties of DNA origami structures have not been adequately characterized, which hinders further applications of these materials. Using laser tweezers, here, we have described two mechanical properties of DNA nanoassemblies represented by DNA nanotubes, DNA nanopyramids and DNA nanotiles. First, mechanical stability of DNA origami structures is determined by the effective density of Holliday junctions along a particular stress direction. Second, mechanical isomerization observed between two conformations of DNA nanotubes at 10–35 pN has been ascribed to the collective actions of individual Holliday junctions, which are only possible in DNA origami with rotational symmetric arrangements of Holliday junctions, such as those in DNA nanotubes. Our results indicate that Holliday junctions control mechanical behaviors of DNA nanoassemblies. Therefore, they can be considered as ‘mechanophores’ that sustain mechanical properties of origami nanoassemblies. The mechanical properties observed here provide insights for designing better DNA nanostructures. In addition, the unprecedented mechanical isomerization process brings new strategies for the development of nano-sensors and actuators.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Optical interaction between small plasmonic nanowires: a perspective from induced forces and torques

Ricardo M Abraham Ekeroth

This paper addresses a new numerical study of the near electromagnetic coupling between two small, metallic nanowires under plane-wave illumination. The forces and torques induced give a different point of view of the interaction. The analysis of these near-field, mechanical observables is based entirely on the plasmon hybridization model, with the help of an adequate correlation with far fields. Although several studies of the opto-mechanical inductions have been done, unexpected features of the movement are obtained. 'Coordinated' spin for the wires are found, in addition to binding or repulsion forces between the wires and scattering forces. For heterodimers, also orbital torques are obtained. The binding and rotation of the nanowires as well as orbital torques are strongly dependent on the plasmonic excitations of the system. They identify uniquely the surface plasmons. In particular, dark modes can be optically detected without using evanescent fields. The optical forces and torques are calculated exactly by Maxwell stress tensor. 'Realistic' infinite nanowires of silver and gold are simulated by a size correction in bulk dielectric function. Thus, the importance of this correction on the mechanical results is also studied. The results can contribute to the design of devices for real observation/detection of surface plasmons. The spectra of forces, and specially of torques, show more resolved resonances because overlapping effects are not as present as in far-field calculations. The spinning of wires found and the analysis made could open new directions of studies and applications of dimers.


Roadmap on biosensing and photonics with advanced nano-optical methods

Enzo Di Fabrizio, Sebastian Schlücker, Jérôme Wenger, Raju Regmi, Hervé Rigneault, Giuseppe Calafiore, Melanie West, Stefano Cabrini, Monika Fleischer, Niek F van Hulst

This roadmap, through the contributions of ten groups worldwide, contains different techniques, methods and materials devoted to sensing in nanomedicine. Optics is used in different ways in the detection schemes. Raman, fluorescence and infrared spectroscopies, plasmonics, second harmonic generation and optical tweezers are all used in applications from single molecule detection (both in highly diluted and in highly concentrated solutions) to single cell manipulation. In general, each optical scheme, through device miniaturization and electromagnetic field localization, exploits an intrinsic optical enhancement mechanism in order to increase the sensitivity and selectivity of the device with respect to the complex molecular construct. The materials used for detection include nanoparticles and nanostructures fabricated with different 2D and 3D lithographic methods. It is shown that sensitivity to a single molecule is already accessible whether the system under study is a single cell or a multitude of cells in a molecular mixture. Throughout the roadmap there is an attempt to foresee and to suggest future directions in this interdisciplinary field.


Laser pushing or pulling of absorbing airborne particles

Chuji Wang, Zhiyong Gong, Yong-Le Pan and Gorden Videen

A single absorbing particle formed by carbon nanotubes in the size range of 10–50 μm is trapped in air by a laser trapping beam and concurrently illuminated by another laser manipulating beam. When the trapping beam is terminated, the movement of the particle controlled by the manipulating beam is investigated. We report our observations of light-controlled pushing and pulling motions. We show that the movement direction has little relationship with the particle size and manipulating beam's parameters but is dominated by the particle's orientation and morphology. With this observation, the controllable optical manipulation is now able to be generalized to arbitrary particles, including irregularly shaped absorbing particles that are shown in this work.


Dual focused coherent beams for three-dimensional optical trapping and continuous rotation of metallic nanostructures

Xiaohao Xu, Chang Cheng, Yao Zhang, Hongxiang Lei & Baojun Li

Metallic nanoparticles and nanowires are extremely important for nanoscience and nanotechnology. Techniques to optically trap and rotate metallic nanostructures can enable their potential applications. However, because of the destabilizing effects of optical radiation pressure, the optical trapping of large metallic particles in three dimensions is challenging. Additionally, the photothermal issues associated with optical rotation of metallic nanowires have far prevented their practical applications. Here, we utilize dual focused coherent beams to realize three-dimensional (3D) optical trapping of large silver particles. Continuous rotation of silver nanowires with frequencies measured in several hertz is also demonstrated based on interference-induced optical vortices with very low local light intensity. The experiments are interpreted by numerical simulations and calculations.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Control of force through feedback in small driven systems

E. Dieterich, J. Camunas-Soler, M. Ribezzi-Crivellari, U. Seifert, and F. Ritort

Controlling a time-dependent force applied to single molecules or colloidal particles is crucial for many types of experiments. Since in optical tweezers the primary controlled variable is the position of the trap, imposing a target force requires an active feedback process. We analyze this feedback process for the paradigmatic case of a nonequilibrium steady state generated by a dichotomous force protocol, first theoretically for a colloidal particle in a harmonic trap and then with both simulations and experiments for a long DNA hairpin. For the first setup, we find there is an optimal feedback gain separating monotonic from oscillatory response, whereas a too strong feedback leads to an instability. For the DNA molecule, reaching the target force requires substantial feedback gain since weak feedback cannot overcome the tendency to relax towards the equilibrium force.


Fluorescence lifetime imaging of optically levitated aerosol: a technique to quantitatively map the viscosity of suspended aerosol particles

Clare Fitzgerald, Neveen A. Hosny, Haijie Tong, Peter C. Seville, Peter J Gallimore, Nicholas M. Davidson, Thanos Athanasiadis, Stanley W Botchway, Andrew D. Ward, Markus Kalberer, Marina Konstantinovna Kuimova and Francis D. Pope

We describe a technique to measure the viscosity of stably levitated single micron-sized aerosol particles. Particle levitation allows the aerosol phase to be probed in the absence of potentially artefact-causing surfaces. To achieve this feat, we combined two laser based techniques: optical trapping for aerosol particle levitation, using a counter-propagating laser beam configuration, and fluorescent lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) of molecular rotors for the measurement of viscosity within the particle. Unlike other techniques used to measure aerosol particle viscosity, this allows for the non-destructive probing of viscosity of aerosol particles without interference from surfaces. The well-described viscosity of sucrose aerosol, under a range of relative humidity conditions, is used to validate the technique. Furthermore we investigate a pharmaceutically-relevant mixture of sodium chloride and salbutamol sulphate under humidities representative of in vivo drug inhalation. Finally, we provide a methodology for incorporating molecular rotors into already levitated particles, thereby making the FLIM/optical trapping technique applicable to real world aerosol systems, such as atmospheric aerosols and those generated by pharmaceutical inhalers. We evidence this through the trapping, doping and viscosity measurement upon a real aerosol obtained from an asthma drug inhaler.


Optofluidic chip for single-beam optical trapping of particles enabling confocal Raman measurements

Diane De Coster; Qing Liu; Michael Vervaeke; Jurgen Van Erps; Jeroen Missinne; Hugo Thienpont; Heidi Ottevaere

We present an optofluidic chip in polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) that combines optical trapping of single particles with confocal Raman spectroscopy. We introduce the design of the optofluidic chip and the ray-tracing simulations combined with mathematical calculations used to determine the optical forces exerted on the particles and to model the excitation and collection of Raman scattering. The optical trapping is done using a single-beam gradient trap realized by a high numerical aperture free-form reflector, monolithically embedded in the optofluidic chip. The focused beam functions both as the excitation beam as well as the trapping beam. The embedded freeform reflector is also used to collect the Raman scattered light generated from the trapped particle. We discuss the fabrication process for the prototyping of the chip, which consists of an ultraprecision diamond turning step and a sealing step. Finally, we demonstrate the functionality of the optofluidic chip in a proof-of-concept experimental setup and trap polystyrene beads with diameters from 6 to 15m. We characterize the maximal transverse optical trap strength in the sample flow direction using the drag force method, measuring average efficiencies that lie between 0.11 and 0.36, and perform confocal Raman measurements of these particles.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Flexible optical manipulation of ring resonator by frequency detuning and double-port excitation

Yong Geng, Tongtong Zhu, Haiyi Lv, Yongyin Cao, Fangkui Sun, and Weiqiang Ding
Optical force exerted on a ring resonator, which can move freely in plane, is investigated using the finite-difference in time-domain method. In order to manipulate the ring resonator more flexibly, two assistant waveguides are introduced to form a microring resonator based add-drop device. Results show that a blue tuned source is more suitable for the manipulation of the ring, rather than the central resonant frequency as expected. A red-tuned frequency, however, is difficult to trap the ring stably. When the frequency detuning is combined with selected double-port excitation, the ring can be trapped stably at some discrete positions, some determined regions, or be transported continuously along the waveguide. This optically reconfigurable opto-mechanical resonant system may find potential applications in tunable photonic devices and precise sensing.


Vertically-oriented nanoparticle dimer based on focused plasmonic trapping

Zhe Shen, Lei Su, and Yao-chun Shen

We proposed a vertically-oriented dimer structure based on focused plasmonic trapping of metallic nanoparticle. Quantitative FDTD calculations and qualitative analysis by simplified dipole approximation revealed that localized surface plasmon coupling dominates in the plasmon hybridization, and the vertically-oriented dimer can effectively make use of the dominant longitudinal component of the surface plasmon virtual probe thus providing much stronger electric field in the gap. Furthermore, for practical application the top nanoparticle of the dimer can be replaced with an atomic force microscope tip which enables the precise control of the gap distance of the dimer. Therefore the proposed vertically-oriented dimer structure provides both the scanning capability and the extremely-high electrical field necessary for the high sensitivity Raman imaging.


An AT-barrier mechanically controls DNA reannealing under tension

L. Bongini, C. Pongor, G. Falorsi, I. Pertici, M. Kellermayer, V. Lombardi and P. Bianco

Regulation of genomic activity occurs through the manipulation of DNA by competent mechanoenzymes. Force-clamp optical tweezers that allow the structural dynamics of the DNA molecule to be measured were used here to investigate the kinetics of mechanically-driven strand reannealing. When the force on the torsionally unconstrained λ-phage DNA is decreased stepwise from above to below the overstretching transition, reannealing occurs via discrete shortening steps separated by exponentially distributed time intervals. Kinetic analysis reveals a transition barrier 0.58 nm along the reaction coordinate and an average reannealing-step size of ∼750 bp, consistent with the average bp interval separating segments of more than 10 consecutive AT bases. In an AT-rich DNA construct, in which the distance between segments of more than 10 consecutive AT is reduced to ∼210 bps, the reannealing step reduces accordingly without changes in the position of the transition barrier. Thus, the transition barrier for reannealing is determined by the presence of segments of more than 10 consecutive AT bps independent of changes in sequence composition, while the length of the reannealing strand changes according to the distance between poly-AT segments at least 10 bps long.


Arbitrarily tunable orbital angular momentum of photons

Yue Pan, Xu-Zhen Gao, Zhi-Cheng Ren, Xi-Lin Wang, Chenghou Tu, Yongnan Li & Hui-Tian Wang

Orbital angular momentum (OAM) of photons, as a new fundamental degree of freedom, has excited a great diversity of interest, because of a variety of emerging applications. Arbitrarily tunable OAM has gained much attention, but its creation remains still a tremendous challenge. We demonstrate the realization of well-controlled arbitrarily tunable OAM in both theory and experiment. We present the concept of general OAM, which extends the OAM carried by the scalar vortex field to the OAM carried by the azimuthally varying polarized vector field. The arbitrarily tunable OAM we presented has the same characteristics as the well-defined integer OAM: intrinsic OAM, uniform local OAM and intensity ring, and propagation stability. The arbitrarily tunable OAM has unique natures: it is allowed to be flexibly tailored and the radius of the focusing ring can have various choices for a desired OAM, which are of great significance to the benefit of surprising applications of the arbitrary OAM.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Core–Shell Particles for Simultaneous 3D Imaging and Optical Tweezing in Dense Colloidal Materials

Yanyan Liu, Kazem V. Edmond, Arran Curran, Charles Bryant, Bo Peng, Dirk G. A. L. Aarts, Stefano Sacanna, Roel P. A. Dullens

A new colloidal system which consists of core–shell “probe” particles embedded in an optically transparent “host” particle suspension is developed. This system enables simultaneous fast confocal imaging and optical tweezing in dense 3D colloidal materials.


Optical trapping by Laguerre-Gaussian beams: Far-field matching, equilibria, and dynamics

Alexei D. Kiselev and Dmytro O. Plutenko

By using the method of far-field matching we obtain the far-field expressions for the optical (radiation) force exerted by Laguerre-Gaussian (LG) light beams on a spherical (Mie) particle and study the optical-force-induced dynamics of the scatterer near the trapping points represented by the equilibrium (zero-force) positions. The regimes of linearized dynamics are described in terms of the stiffness matrix spectrum and the damping constant of the ambient medium. Numerical analysis is performed for both nonvortex and optical-vortex LG beams. For the purely azimuthal LG beams, the dynamics is found to be locally nonconservative and is characterized by the presence of conditionally stable equilibria (unstable zero-force points that can be stabilized by the ambient damping). We also discuss effects related to the Mie resonances (maxima of the internal field Mie coefficients) that under certain conditions manifest themselves as the points changing the trapping properties of the particles.


Optical field and attractive force at the subwavelength slit

David Shapiro, Daniel Nies, Oleg Belai, Matthias Wurm, and Vladimir Nesterov

In recent works, a novel light-induced attractive force was predicted between two metal plates. This force arises by the interaction of surface plasmons which are excited at the metal when a transverse magnetic mode propagates through a subwavelength slit between two metal bodies. In this paper, the analytical and numerical calculations of this magnetic field are presented for the perfect metal and for gold. The amplitude and the phase transient curves between the known limiting cases of narrow and wide slits compared to the wavelength are found. The curve is shown to oscillate due to the emergence of new waveguide modes. The analytic solution for the perfect metal is in agreement with the computation for gold by means of the finite element method. The simple asymptotic formula for the light-induced attractive force is found in the limit of a narrow slit.


Friday, July 8, 2016

Dynamic axial control over optically levitating particles in air with an electrically-tunable variable-focus lens

Wenguo Zhu, Niko Eckerskorn, Avinash Upadhya, Li Li, Andrei V. Rode, and Woei Ming Lee

Efficient delivery of viruses, proteins and biological macromelecules into a micrometer-sized focal spot of an XFEL beam for coherent diffraction imaging inspired new development in touch-free particle injection methods in gaseous and vacuum environments. This paper lays out our ongoing effort in constructing an all-optical particle delivery approach that uses piconewton photophoretic and femtonewton light-pressure forces to control particle delivery into the XFEL beam. We combine a spatial light modulator (SLM) and an electrically tunable lens (ETL) to construct a variable-divergence vortex beam providing dynamic and stable positioning of levitated micrometer-size particles, under normal atmospheric pressure. A sensorless wavefront correction approach is used to reduce optical aberrations to generate a high quality vortex beam for particle manipulation. As a proof of concept, stable manipulation of optically-controlled axial motion of trapped particles is demonstrated with a response time of 100ms. In addition, modulation of trapping intensity provides a measure of the mass of a single, isolated particle. The driving signal of this oscillatory motion can potentially be phase-locked to an external timing signal enabling synchronization of particle delivery into the x-ray focus with XFEL pulse train.


Radiation force of highly focused modified hollow Gaussian beams on a Rayleigh particle

Bin Tang, Yanjie Li, Xin Zhou, Li Huang, Xianzhong Lang

The radiation force on a Rayleigh dielectric particle produced by highly focused modified hollow Gaussian (MHG) beams is investigated numerically and theoretically. The results show that the highly focused MHG beams can be used to trap and manipulate the particles with low or high index of refractive larger than that of ambient at the focus point and in the neighbourhood of the focal plane simultaneously in the different region. Also, the conditions for trapping stability are analyzed in this paper.


Tailoring optical forces for nanoparticle manipulation on layered substrates

Mohammad M. Salary and Hossein Mosallaei

Optical forces can be used to manipulate small particles through various mechanisms. In this work, we present a comprehensive analysis of optical forces acting onto the nanoparticles located over a substrate using different manipulation techniques, as well as the conditions of the optimization of these forces. In particular, we study optical trapping, acceleration, and binding. Calculations are carried out using the exact multipole expansion method combined with Maxwell stress tensor formalism, providing a general framework to study optical forces on particles for arbitrary incident fields using closed-form expressions. The method takes into account multiple-scattering between the particles and substrate, and allows clear predictive abilities well beyond the dipole model We consider the interaction of dielectric and metallic nanoparticles with various substrates. The presence of substrate is shown to have a significant impact on the nanoparticles resonances and provides an additional degree of freedom in tailoring the optical forces. We explore different physical processes contributing to the optical force and their interplay on the mobility of the particle. It is established that engineering layered substrates can broaden the scope of trapping and acceleration, and enhance the binding forces. It can also provide a high tunability of the acceleration direction. The analysis presented in this paper provides key physical insights to identify optimum setup for nanoparticles manipulation in various applications.


Cell-sized liposome doublets reveal active tension build-up driven by acto-myosin dynamics

V. Caorsi, J. Lemière, C. Campillo, M. Bussonnier, J. Manzi, T. Betz, J. Plastino, K. Carvalho and C. Sykes

Cells modulate their shape to fulfill specific functions, mediated by the cell cortex, a thin actin shell bound to the plasma membrane. Myosin motor activity, together with actin dynamics, contributes to cortical tension. Here, we examine the individual contributions of actin polymerization and myosin activity to tension increase with a non-invasive method. Cell-sized liposome doublets are covered with either a stabilized actin cortex of preformed actin filaments, or a dynamic branched actin network polymerizing at the membrane. The addition of myosin II minifilaments in both cases triggers a change in doublet shape that is unambiguously related to a tension increase. Preformed actin filaments allow us to evaluate the effect of myosin alone while, with dynamic actin cortices, we examine the synergy of actin polymerization and myosin motors in driving shape changes. Our assay paves the way for a quantification of tension changes triggered by various actin-associated proteins in a cell-sized system.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Characterisation of optically driven microstructures for manipulating single DNA molecules under a fluorescence microscope

Kyohei Terao; Chihiro Masuda; Ryo Inukai; Murat Gel; Hidehiro Oana; Masao Washizu; Takaaki Suzuki; Hidekuni Takao; Fusao Shimokawa; Fumikazu Oohira

Optical tweezers are powerful tools for manipulating single DNA molecules using fluorescence microscopy, particularly in nanotechnology-based DNA analysis. We previously proposed a manipulation technique using microstructures driven by optical tweezers that allows the handling of single giant DNA molecules of millimetre length that cannot be manipulated by conventional techniques. To further develop this technique, the authors characterised the microstructures quantitatively from the view point of fabrication and efficiency of DNA manipulation under a fluorescence microscope. The success rate and precision of the fabrications were evaluated. The results indicate that the microstructures are obtained in an aqueous solution with a precision ∼50 nm at concentrations in the order of 106 particles/ml. The visibility of these microstructures under a fluorescence microscope was also characterised, along with the elucidation of the fabrication parameters needed to fine tune visibility. Manipulating yeast chromosomal DNA molecules with the microstructures illustrated the relationship between the efficiency of manipulation and the geometrical shape of the microstructure. This report provides the guidelines for designing microstructures used in single DNA molecule analysis based on on-site DNA manipulation, and is expected to broaden the applications of this technique in the future.


Dynamics of an optically confined nanoparticle diffusing normal to a surface

Perry Schein, Dakota O'Dell, and David Erickson

Here we measure the hindered diffusion of an optically confined nanoparticle in the direction normal to a surface, and we use this to determine the particle-surface interaction profile in terms of the absolute height. These studies are performed using the evanescent field of an optically excited single-mode silicon nitride waveguide, where the particle is confined in a height-dependent potential energy well generated from the balance of optical gradient and surface forces. Using a high-speed cmos camera, we demonstrate the ability to capture the short time-scale diffusion dominated motion for 800-nm-diam polystyrene particles, with measurement times of only a few seconds per particle. Using established theory, we show how this information can be used to estimate the equilibrium separation of the particle from the surface. As this measurement can be made simultaneously with equilibrium statistical mechanical measurements of the particle-surface interaction energy landscape, we demonstrate the ability to determine these in terms of the absolute rather than relative separation height. This enables the comparison of potential energy landscapes of particle-surface interactions measured under different experimental conditions, enhancing the utility of this technique.


Resonant optical propulsion of a particle inside a hollow-core photonic crystal fiber

A. V. Maslov

Resonant propulsion of small nonresonant particles inside metal waveguides due to the formation of resonant states by the guided modes below their cutoffs has been predicted in the past. Here it is shown that stable resonant propulsion exists in hollow-core photonic crystal fibers, which are all-dielectric structures and are a major platform for various photonic applications. Specific features of the resonant propulsion are discussed together with the fiber design issues. The results may enable power-efficient transport of particles over long distances, particle sorting, and sensitive detection.


Directed Binding of Gliding Bacterium, Mycoplasma mobile, Shown by Detachment Force and Bond Lifetime

Akihiro Tanaka, Daisuke Nakane, Masaki Mizutani, Takayuki Nishizaka, Makoto Miyata

Mycoplasma mobile, a fish-pathogenic bacterium, features a protrusion that enables it to glide smoothly on solid surfaces at a velocity of up to 4.5 µm s−1 in the direction of the protrusion. M. mobile glides by a repeated catch-pull-release of sialylated oligosaccharides fixed on a solid surface by hundreds of 50-nm flexible “legs” sticking out from the protrusion. This gliding mechanism may be explained by a possible directed binding of each leg with sialylated oligosaccharides, by which the leg can be detached more easily forward than backward. In the present study, we used a polystyrene bead held by optical tweezers to detach a starved cell at rest from a glass surface coated with sialylated oligosaccharides and concluded that the detachment force forward is 1.6- to 1.8-fold less than that backward, which may be linked to a catch bond-like behavior of the cell. These results suggest that this directed binding has a critical role in the gliding mechanism.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fano Resonance-Assisted Plasmonic Trapping of Nanoparticles

Noor Uddin, Guangqing Du, Feng Chen, Yu Lu, Qing Yang, Hao Bian, Jiale Yong, Xun Hou

Plasmonic optical trapping is widely applied in the field of bioscience, microfluidics, and quantum optics. It can play a vital role to extend optical manipulation tools from micrometer to nanometer scale level. Currently, it is a challenge to obtain the highly stable optical trapping with low power and less damage. In this paper, we propose Fano resonance-assisted self-induced back-action (FASIBA) method, through which a single 40-nm gold particle can be trapped in hole-slit nano-aperture milled on metallic film. It is used to achieve ultra-accurate positioning of nanoparticle, metallic nanostructures at wide infrared wavelength range, quite effectively and evidently. The stable plasmonic trapping is achieved by tuning the transmission wavelengths and modifications of nanoslit, indicating that the depth of potential well can be increased from minus 8KT to 12KT, with the input power of 109 W/m2. This can be attributed to great modifications in Fano resonance transmissions according to self-induced back-action (SIBA) theory. The results are basically helpful to facilitate the trapping with lower power and less damage to the objects, which enables new scenario for the treatment of undesirable spread of a single nanoscale creature, such as virus.


Osmotic Bulk Modulus of Charged Colloids Measured by Ensemble Optical Trapping

Joseph Junio, Joel A. Cohen, and H. Daniel Ou-Yang

The optical-bottle technique is used to measure osmotic bulk moduli of colloid suspensions. The bulk modulus is determined by optically trapping an ensemble of nanoparticles and invoking a steady-state force balance between confining optical-gradient forces and repulsive osmotic-pressure forces. Osmotic bulk moduli are reported for aqueous suspensions of charged polystyrene particles in NaCl solutions as a function of particle concentration and ionic strength, and are compared to those determined by turbidity measurements under the same conditions. Effective particle charges are calculated from the bulk moduli and are found to increase as a function of ionic strength, consistent with previously reported results.


Mechanisms of small molecule–DNA interactions probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy

Ali A. Almaqwashi, Thayaparan Paramanathan, Ioulia Rouzina and Mark C. Williams

There is a wide range of applications for non-covalent DNA binding ligands, and optimization of such interactions requires detailed understanding of the binding mechanisms. One important class of these ligands is that of intercalators, which bind DNA by inserting aromatic moieties between adjacent DNA base pairs. Characterizing the dynamic and equilibrium aspects of DNA-intercalator complex assembly may allow optimization of DNA binding for specific functions. Single-molecule force spectroscopy studies have recently revealed new details about the molecular mechanisms governing DNA intercalation. These studies can provide the binding kinetics and affinity as well as determining the magnitude of the double helix structural deformations during the dynamic assembly of DNA–ligand complexes. These results may in turn guide the rational design of intercalators synthesized for DNA-targeted drugs, optical probes, or integrated biological self-assembly processes. Herein, we survey the progress in experimental methods as well as the corresponding analysis framework for understanding single molecule DNA binding mechanisms. We discuss briefly minor and major groove binding ligands, and then focus on intercalators, which have been probed extensively with these methods. Conventional mono-intercalators and bis-intercalators are discussed, followed by unconventional DNA intercalation. We then consider the prospects for using these methods in optimizing conventional and unconventional DNA-intercalating small molecules.


Active dynamics of colloidal particles in time-varying laser speckle patterns

Silvio Bianchi, Riccardo Pruner, Gaszton Vizsnyiczai, Claudio Maggi & Roberto Di Leonardo

Colloidal particles immersed in a dynamic speckle pattern experience an optical force that fluctuates both in space and time. The resulting dynamics presents many interesting analogies with a broad class of non-equilibrium systems like: active colloids, self propelled microorganisms, transport in dynamical intracellular environments. Here we show that the use of a spatial light modulator allows to generate light fields that fluctuate with controllable space and time correlations and a prescribed average intensity profile. In particular we generate ring-shaped random patterns that can confine a colloidal particle over a quasi one-dimensional random energy landscape. We find a mean square displacement that is diffusive at both short and long times, while a superdiffusive or subdiffusive behavior is observed at intermediate times depending on the value of the speckles correlation time. We propose two alternative models for the mean square displacement in the two limiting cases of a short or long speckles correlation time. A simple interpolation formula is shown to account for the full phenomenology observed in the mean square displacement across the entire range from fast to slow fluctuating speckles.