Paloma Rodríguez-Sevilla, Yuhai Zhang, Nuno de Sousa, Manuel I. Marqués, Francisco Sanz-Rodríguez, Daniel Jaque, Xiaogang Liu, and Patricia Haro-González
Precise knowledge and control over the orientation of individual upconverting particles is extremely important for full exploiting their capabilities as multifunctional bioprobes for interdisciplinary applications. In this work, we report on how time-resolved, single particle polarized spectroscopy can be used to determine the orientation dynamics of a single upconverting particle when entering into an optical trap. Experimental results have unequivocally evidenced the existence of a unique stable configuration. Numerical simulations and simple numerical calculations have demonstrated that the dipole magnetic interactions between the upconverting particle and trapping radiation are the main mechanisms responsible of the optical torques that drive the upconverting particle to its stable orientation. Finally, how a proper analysis of the rotation dynamics of a single upconverting particle within an optical trap can provide valuable information about the properties of the medium in which it is suspended is demonstrated. A proof of concept is given in which the laser driven intracellular rotation of upconverting particles is used to successfully determine the intracellular dynamic viscosity by a passive and an active method.