Single-Crystal Rutile TiO 2 Nanocylinders are Highly Effective Transducers of Optical Force and Torque

Seungkyu Ha, Ying Tang, Maarten M. Van Oene, Richard Janissen, Roland M. Dries, Belen Solano, Aurèle J.L. Adam*, Nynke H. Dekker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


Optical trapping of (sub)micron-sized particles is broadly employed in nanoscience and engineering. The materials commonly employed for these particles, however, have physical properties that limit the transfer of linear or angular momentum (or both). This reduces the magnitude of forces and torques, and the spatiotemporal resolution, achievable in linear and angular traps. Here, we overcome these limitations through the use of single-crystal rutile TiO 2 , which has an exceptionally large optical birefringence, a high index of refraction, good chemical stability, and is amenable to geometric control at the nanoscale. We show that rutile TiO 2 nanocylinders form powerful joint force and torque transducers in aqueous environments by using only moderate laser powers to apply nN·nm torques at kHz rotational frequencies to tightly trapped particles. In doing so, we demonstrate how rutile TiO 2 nanocylinders outperform other materials and offer unprecedented opportunities to expand the control of optical force and torque at the nanoscale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1255-1265
Number of pages11
JournalACS Photonics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • dielectric crystals
  • force spectroscopy
  • optical torque wrench
  • optical trapping
  • rutile titanium dioxide
  • torque spectroscopy


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