Design considerations for effective thermal management in mobile nanotweezers
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Controlled manipulation of nanoscale objects in fluids is relevant to both fundamental studies and technological advances in nanotechnology. While standard techniques of nanomanipulation, such as optical and plasmonic tweezers have limitations in simultaneous trapping and transport of nanoscale cargo, magnetically driven plasmonic nanorobots under optical illumination provide a promising solution. These so called mobile nanotweezers (MNT) use strongly localized electromagnetic field near plasmonic nanostructures to trap objects with high efficiency and can simultaneously be driven by magnetic fields to selectively trap, transport and release colloidal cargo. Upon illumination, apart from strong optical gradient forces due to local electric field enhancement, additional fluidic forces arise due to the heat generated by absorption of light. Here, we present a method to understand and engineer thermally induced fluidic forces in mobile nanotweezers. The temperature enhancement and associated thermofluidic forces are studied as a function of MNT geometry. We also discuss illumination at wavelengths slightly detuned from plasmon resonance frequency, which produces sufficient field enhancement with negligible generation of heat, and therefore much reduced thermophoretic and convective forces. This allowed us to engineer thermoplasmonic forces in MNTs for enhanced trapping performance and diverse applications.
KeywordsMicrorobots Plasmonic tweezer Optical nanomanipulation Cargo transport Plasmonic heating
S.G thanks Arijit Ghosh, Debayan Dasgupta, Malay Pal, Praneet Prakash and Pranay Mandal for helpful discussions. We thank Department of Biotechnology, India for funding this research. We also acknowledge funding from MHRD, MeitY and DST Nano Mission for supporting the facilities at CeNSE.
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