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Plasmonic tweezers—The strength of surface plasmons

  • Romain Quidant (a1)

Enhanced and confined optical fields near metallic nanostructures, supporting surface plasmon (SP) resonances, make it possible to enhance the interaction of light with tiny amounts of matter, down to the molecular level. Such capability has been extensively exploited in the framework of optical spectroscopy, nonlinear optics, imaging and integrated optics, among others. Here we discuss the use of plasmonics for optical trapping. Plasmon-based trapping addresses key limitations of conventional optical tweezers formed at the focus of a diffraction-limited laser beam. Beyond permitting trapping of smaller objects, down to the true nanometer scale, they enable parallel trapping from a single beam and can be easily integrated on a chip. SP-based trapping opens new perspectives in a wide range of fields from biology to quantum optics.

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