Plasmon enhanced optical tweezers with gold-coated black silicon

D. G. Kotsifaki, M. Kandyla, P. G. Lagoudakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Plasmonic optical tweezers are a ubiquitous tool for the precise manipulation of nanoparticles and biomolecules at low photon flux, while femtosecond-laser optical tweezers can probe the nonlinear optical properties of the trapped species with applications in biological diagnostics. In order to adopt plasmonic optical tweezers in real-world applications, it is essential to develop large-scale fabrication processes without compromising the trapping efficiency. Here, we develop a novel platform for continuous wave (CW) and femtosecond plasmonic optical tweezers, based on gold-coated black silicon. In contrast with traditional lithographic methods, the fabrication method relies on simple, single-step, maskless tabletop laser processing of silicon in water that facilitates scalability. Gold-coated black silicon supports repeatable trapping efficiencies comparable to the highest ones reported to date. From a more fundamental aspect, a plasmon-mediated efficiency enhancement is a resonant effect, and therefore, dependent on the wavelength of the trapping beam. Surprisingly, a wavelength characterization of plasmon-enhanced trapping efficiencies has evaded the literature. Here, we exploit the repeatability of the recorded trapping efficiency, offered by the gold-coated black silicon platform, and perform a wavelength-dependent characterization of the trapping process, revealing the resonant character of the trapping efficiency maxima. Gold-coated black silicon is a promising platform for large-scale parallel trapping applications that will broaden the range of optical manipulation in nanoengineering, biology, and the study of collective biophotonic effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26275
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


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