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Results ■ Scientific Highlights ■ Emerging fabrication techniques for 3D nano-structuring in plasmonics and single molecule studies

Emerging fabrication techniques for 3D nano-structuring in plasmonics and single molecule studies

Optical tweezers (OT) are becoming a popular tool in medicine and biology for the manipulation and the analysis of cells and microorganisms. In recent years an impelling demand has arisen for the development of miniaturized trapping devices that can be easily combined with microfluidic circuits where to study complex phenomena on a micro- or sub-micro scale. We demonstrated novel miniaturized optical tweezers based on optical fibers for manipulation of single cells. The realization is based on the fabrication of micro-prisms on the output facet of a single fiber-bundle by TPL. Such devices represent a considerably improved version, both in terms of easiness of fabrication and of trapping performance, of an earlier realization based on the focused-ion-beam microstructuration of the fiber end-faces. By using these fiber-optic tweezers (FOT) we demonstrate contactless 3D optical trapping and manipulation of both polystyrene beads and human cancer cells. Moreover we demonstrated successful integration of our FOT with a microfluidic chip.

 

On the other hand, the combination of lithographic methods working on different spatial scales appears to be a very powerful strategy to increase the degrees of freedom for the fabrication of 3D micro- and nanostructures. The combination of OT and plasmonics will be used for membrane proteins study in living conditions. We demonstrated the inclusion of plasmonic functions to an OT probe by combining a TPL fabricated not-conventional bead and an EBID grown plasmonic nanocone. The bead was successfully trapped in an OT system and fully 3D manipulated (translation, rotation and tilting).

Related IIT publications:

  1. F. De Angelis, C. Liberale et al., “Emerging fabrication techniques for 3D nano-structuring in plasmonics and single molecule studies” Nanoscale 3, 2689 (2011).
  2. C. Liberale, G. Cojoc et al., “Single-cell fluorescence spectroscopy and trapping by microtweezers integrated in a microfluidic circuit” submitted (2011).

Last Updated on Friday, 13 April 2012 18:02

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