Abstract

Nanoparticles trapped on resonant near-field structures engraved on a metallic substrate experience forces due to the engravings, as well as the image-like interaction with the substrate. In the case of normally incident optical excitation, the force due to the substrate is solely perpendicular to its surface. Numerical simulations are presented to demonstrate that under the combined influence of the aforementioned forces, a plasmonic nanoparticle can be repelled from the engraving along the substrate, while attracting it towards the substrate along its normal. This behavior can be achieved over a range of excitation wavelengths of the short wavelength mode of the coupled particle-substrate-trap system. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first illustration of an in-plane near-field optical barrier on a chip. The barrier is stable against resistive heating of the nanoparticle, as well as the induced non-isothermal flow. The wavelength-dependent switch between the proposed in-plane potential barrier and the stable potential well can pave the way for the gated transport of single nanoparticles, while holding them bound to the chip.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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