We report the first demonstration that carbon nanotubes can be trapped and manipulated by optical tweezers. This observation is surprising because individual nanotubes are substantially smaller than the wavelength of light, and thus should not be amenable to optical trapping. Even so, nanotube bundles, and perhaps even individual nanotubes, can be transported at high speeds, deposited onto substrates, untangled, and selectively ablated, all with visible light. The use of holographic optical tweezers, capable of creating hundreds of independent traps simultaneously, suggests opportunities for highly parallel nanotube processing with light.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics