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Sustained Self-Starting Orbital Motion of a Glass-Fiber “Nanoengine” Driven by Photophoretic Forces

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Xie,  Shangran
Russell Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Pennetta,  Riccardo
Russell Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

Wang,  Zheqi
Russell Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Russell,  Philip
Russell Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;
Department of Physics, Friedrich Alexander University;

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Citation

Xie, S., Pennetta, R., Wang, Z., & Russell, P. (in press). Sustained Self-Starting Orbital Motion of a Glass-Fiber “Nanoengine” Driven by Photophoretic Forces. ACS Photonics, 6(12), 3315-3320. doi:10.1021/acsphotonics.9b01433.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-6384-6
Abstract
Controllable optically driven rotation of microscopic objects is desirable in many applications, but is difficult to achieve. Here we report a sustained self-starting orbital motion of a clamped elongated nanostructure, a glass-fiber nanospike, when a CW laser beam is focused axially onto its tip. Analysis shows that photophoretic antitrapping forces, acting on the nanospike with a delayed response, introduce optomechanical gain into the mechanical motion, overcoming the intrinsic mechanical dissipation and resulting in growth from noise of oscillations at the resonant frequency of the nanospike. These photophoretic forces further enable phase-locking of the orthogonal fast and slow vibrations of the nanospike (induced by slight mechanical anisotropy), giving rise to a self-sustained orbital motion. The locked phase of orbital motion can be changed by tuning the gas pressure and adjusting the geometrical asymmetry of the system. This light-driven nanoengine opens up a new degree of freedom for controlling the rotational motion of elongated nano-objects.