Two-state switchable plasmonic tweezers for dynamic manipulation of nano-objects†
In this work, we present a plasmonic platform capable of trapping nano-objects in two different spatial configurations. The switch between the two trapping states, localized on the tip and on the outer wall of a vertical gold nanochannel, can be activated by varying the focusing position of the excitation laser along the main axis of the nanotube. We show that the switching of the trapping site is induced by changes in the distribution of the electromagnetic field and of the trapping force. The “inner” and “outer” trapping states are characterized by a static and a dynamic behavior respectively, and their stiffness is measured by analyzing the positions of the trapped specimens as a function of time. In addition, we demonstrate that the stiffness of the static state is high enough to trap particles with diameter as small as 40 nm. These results show a simple, controllable way to generate a switchable two-state trapping regime, which could be used as a model for the study of dynamic trapping or as a mechanism for the development of nanofluidic devices.