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Experimental study of nanoparticle detection by optical gradient forces

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2 Author(s)
Ignatovich, Filipp V. ; The Institute of Optics, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14627 ; Novotny, Lukas

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We experimentally investigate a particle detection scheme that makes use of optical gradient forces. The path of nanoscale particles carried in a microfluidic channel is perturbed by a strongly focused laser beam. The perturbation is interferometrically recorded with a quadrant detector and the temporal asymmetry of the detector signal yields information about the force exerted on the particles by the laser focus. Large particles experience strong forces, thus rendering a highly asymmetric signal whereas small particles pass the laser focus almost unperturbed thus rendering a symmetric signal. We analyze the influence of experimental parameters such as laser power and fluid speed on the precision of the method and discuss the influence of Brownian motion. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:74 ,  Issue: 12 )

Date of Publication:

Dec 2003

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