Optical trapping with pillar bowtie nanoantennas

Hao Chen, Qing Ding, Brian J. Roxworthy, Abdul M. Bhuiya, Kimani C. Toussaint

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Plasmonic nanoantennas make effective optical tweezers, owing to their characteristic field enhancement and confinement properties which produce large near-field intensity gradients. The trapping dynamics of plasmonic nanotweezers are strongly affected by their resonant optical absorption, which can produce significant heating and induce rapid convective flows in the surrounding fluid medium. We here consider a new class of plasmonic nanotweezers based on an array of elevated bowtie nanoantennas (BNA), whereby BNAs are suspended on optically transparent, 500-nm tall silica pillars. We discuss how the plasmonic properties of these pillar-BNAs (pBNAs) can be manipulated in large areas of 80 × 80-micron using low-input power densities. This modification in local plasmonic properties is expected to result in a much more complex optical trapping landscape. We also find that the temperature increase in the pBNAs is more than 10× higher than in comparable substrate-bound structures (for the same input intensity), in which the substrate acts as a heat sink that mitigates temperature increase, and we investigate the role of this enhanced thermo plasmonic heating on plasmonic trapping dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XI
EditorsGabriel C. Spalding, Kishan Dholakia
ISBN (Electronic)9781628411911
StatePublished - 2014
EventOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XI - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 17 2014Aug 21 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Plasmonics
  • optical tweezers
  • particle sorting
  • plasmonic film
  • plasmonic optical trapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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