Kerker-Type Intensity-Gradient Force of Light
Xiaohao Xu, M. Nieto-Vesperinas, Cheng-Wei Qiu, Xiaoshuai Liu, Dongliang Gao,Yao Zhang, and Baojun Li
The intensity gradient of light represents the most important property for optical tweezers to manipulate small particles, which is known to produce a conservative optical force that is either attractive or repulsive. Here, it is shown that Kerker interference, the interplay between electric and magnetic dipoles induced in nanoparticles, permits the intensity gradient to exert a nonconservative optical force, in the case of a standard optical trap created with linearly or elliptically polarized Gaussian beams. The Kerker‐type intensity‐gradient force has an “anisotropic” directionality, and it tends to repel particles away from the beam axis. Such repulsive effects can greatly sensitize the particle trapping behavior of optical tweezers to the particle size. Utilizing these peculiar properties, all‐optical sorting of Si nanoparticles is theoretically demonstrated, with tunable size‐selection criterion and accuracy.
a) Schematic for different radial (intensity‐gradient) forces on a particle located on the focus plane of a Gaussian beam. b,c) Analytically calculated transverse distribution of the Kerker‐type intensity‐gradient force (violet arrows) and its curl (grey arrows), for a Gaussian beam linearly polarized along the x‐direction.