Optical forces from near-field directionalities in planar structures

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


Matter manipulation with optical forces has become commonplace in a wide range of research fields and is epitomized by the optical trap. Calculations of optical forces on small illuminated particles typically neglect multiple scattering on nearby structures. However, this scattering can result in large recoil forces, particularly when the scattering includes directional near-field excitations. Near-field recoil forces have been studied in the case of electric, magnetic and circularly polarized dipoles, but they exist for any type of directional near-field excitation. We use the force angular spectrum as a concise and intuitive analytical expression for the force on any dipole near planar surfaces, which allows us to clearly distinguish the effect due to the dipole, and due to the surface. We relate this directly to the coupling efficiency of surface or guided modes via Fermi's golden rule. To exemplify this, a near-field force transverse to the illumination is computationally calculated for a Huygens dipole near a metallic waveguide. We believe this formalism will prove insightful for various nanomanipulation systems within areas such as nanofluidics, sensing, biotechnology and nano-assembly of nanostructures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number235410
Pages (from-to)235410
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2019


  • Optical force
  • Plasmonics
  • waveguide


Dive into the research topics of 'Optical forces from near-field directionalities in planar structures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this