Chemically synthesized colloidal particles featuring large-scale surface asperities can be trapped and manipulated in fluid media through holographic optical trapping. Light scattering by these particles' surface features provides a mechanism for holographic optical traps also to exert torques on them, thereby setting them in steady rotation about arbitrary axes in three dimensions. When pairs of rotating particles are brought close enough that their surface features mesh, they form microscopic gear trains. These micro-opto-mechanical systems can be arranged in any desired three-dimensional configuration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)