Topologically enabled optical nanomotors

Ilić, Ognjen and Kaminer, Ido and Zhen, Bo and Miller, Owen D. and Buljan, Hrvoje and Soljačić, Marin (2017) Topologically enabled optical nanomotors. Science Advances, 3 (6). e1602738. ISSN 2375-2548

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Shaping the topology of light, by way of spin or orbital angular momentum engineering, is a powerful tool to manipulate matter on the nanoscale. Conventionally, such methods focus on shaping the incident beam of light and not the full interaction between the light and the object to be manipulated. We theoretically show that tailoring the topology of the phase space of the light particle interaction is a fundamentally more versatile approach, enabling dynamics that may not be achievable by shaping of the light alone. In this manner, we find that optically asymmetric (Janus) particles can become stable nanoscale motors even in a light field with zero angular momentum. These precessing steady states arise from topologically protected anticrossing behavior of the vortices of the optical torque vector field. Furthermore, by varying the wavelength of the incident light, we can control the number, orientations, and the stability of the spinning states. These results show that the combination of phase-space topology and particle asymmetry can provide a powerful degree of freedom in designing nanoparticles for optimal external manipulation in a range of nano- optomechanical applications.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: topological photonics, nanomotors
Date: 2017
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Physics
Additional Information: Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC) Received for publication November 5, 2016. Accepted for publication May 10, 2017, Published 30 June 2017.
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Physics
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Depositing User: Gordana Stubičan Ladešić
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2018 18:16
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2018 18:16

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