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Plasmon optical trapping using silicon nitride trench waveguides

Abstract

We theoretically demonstrate optical trapping using a silicon nitride (Si3N4) trench waveguide on which bow-tie plasmonic nanoantennas are employed for enhancing optical forces. The electric field tailing away from the waveguide is transformed and then enhanced by the plasmonic nanoantennas deposited on the waveguide surface. We show that, with gold bow-tie nanoantennas, the waveguide system exhibits outstanding trapping capability on a 10 nm radius polystyrene nanoparticle, due to a 60-fold electric field enhancement in the proximity of the nanoantenna gap. This enhancement causes a boost of the optical trapping force by 3 orders of magnitude. The gradient force in the vertical direction is also calculated semi-analytically by using a dipole approximation of a scattering polystyrene nanosphere, and the analytical solution well matches the full-wave simulations. Mode polarization effects are discussed in this paper as a way to switch trapping. These investigations indicate that the patterned Si3N4 trench waveguide is suitable for optical trapping and nanoparticle sensing applications.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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