The first optical tweezers are introduced to move nanoparticles in a vacuum

Researchers create tiny, chip-based optical tweezers that can be used to levitate

nanoparticles in vacuum.Optical tweezers use a tightly focused laser beam to trap living cells, nanoparticles, and other objects. Typically, these devices are manufactured with bulky optical components.

Using an ultra-thin lens, they reduceddevice diameter from 25 to 0.4 mm. “The chip design can be used to create an integrated and flexible optical system for studying near-surface forces. This is done by capturing an object less than 1 micrometer from the surface. It can also be useful for trapping cold atoms in a vacuum to study quantum processes, ”the scientists noted.

In Optica Publishing Group magazine dedicated tohigh-performance research, researchers from Purdue University and Pennsylvania State University reported the first implementation of optical levitation in a vacuum using an ultra-thin device.

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“Optically levitating particles canuse to create accelerometers and gyroscopes that can potentially be used for navigation, the researchers noted. "Scientists are also using optically levitating particles to search for dark matter and dark energy, and study gravity at short distances, which will deepen our understanding of the nature of these phenomena."

“As the next step, we want to makeoptical levitation technology is more practical, minimizing the system enough to make it portable. We started by reducing the size of the focusing lens by using metallics - a type of flat lens that uses nanostructures to focus light, ”they added.

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